This project engages middle-school students in building and revising models of variability and change in ecosystems and studies the learning and instruction in these classroom contexts. Students construct and critique models that they and peers invent and – through the lens of models – develop foundational knowledge about the roles of variability and change in ecosystem functioning, as well as the roles of models and argumentation in scientific practice. Citizen science-based classroom investigations developed by GMRI provide the context for student work.
Over three years, this project will investigate how, and to what extent, students' use of different forms of modeling inform how they investigate ecosystems. A parallel effort investigates how the development of teachers’ comfort and proficiency with modeling impacts how students engage with modeling and understand variability and change in ecosystems. Insights from this research will inform the design of professional development for teachers around data analysis and interpretation, as well as around how student understanding of modeling develops with sustained support — both of which are practices at the heart of scientific literacy.
- Rich Lehrer, Ph.D.
Department of Teaching and Learning
Vanderbilt Peabody College
- Alison Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, award #2010119.
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