Transforming Teacher Knowledge: Modeling Instruction in Physics Documents

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Transforming Teacher Knowledge: Modeling Instruction in Physics 

The Modeling physics curriculum is readily accommodated by most teachers in favor of traditional didactic pedagogies. This is so, at least in part, because Modeling focuses on a small set of connected models embedded in a self-consistent theoretical framework and thus is closely congruent with human cognition in this context which is to generate mental models of physical phenomena as both predictive and explanatory devices. Whether a teacher fully implements the Modeling pedagogy depends on the depth of the teacher's commitment to inquiry- based instruction, specifically Modeling instruction, as a means of promoting student understanding of Newtonian mechanics. Moreover, this commitment trumps all other characteristics: teacher educational background, content coverage issues, student achievement data, district or state learning standards, and district or state student assessments. Indeed, distinctive differences exist in how Modeling teachers deliver their curricula and some teachers are measurably more effective than others in their delivery, but they all share an unshakable belief in the efficacy of inquiry-based, constructivist-oriented instruction. The Modeling Workshops' pedagogy, duration, and social interactions impacts teachers' self-identification as members of a professional community.

Released under a © Nick Cabot

Published August 8, 2008
Last Modified March 10, 2010

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