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Exploring the Ways That Developing and Using Models Support Changes in Student Thinking About Phase Changes

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posted on 2019-04-29, 00:00 authored by Monica Alm
In 2013, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released. Currently, approximately two-thirds of American students live in a state that is using NGSS or standards influenced by the Framework for K-12 Science Education and/or the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013). Utah adopted new science standards based on NGSS in December 2015. For educators to successfully implement the new standards, a shift in curriculum and teaching practice is required (NRC, 2012). To do this, one may examine student data and student reflections. This study focused on one of the Scientific and Engineering Practices (developing and using models) within sixth grade self-contained science classrooms. I examined how using specific strategies related to developing and using models may change student thinking. Data from student reflections and assessments within a particular unit were gathered and compared to teacher data (field notes and analysis of assessments), looking at the same constructs. Both findings from the literature review and my study suggest that students develop deeper understanding of science concepts through the effective use of models. As students developed and used models, they further developed their scientific practices and change of thinking regarding phase changes, as identified in The Framework and NGSS.



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