10.6084/M9.FIGSHARE.12949636.V1
Daniel K. Capps
Jonathan T. Shemwell
Moving beyond the model as a copy problem: investigating the utility of teaching about structure-preserving transformations in the model-referent relationship
<p>An important research objective in modelling instruction is defining what students should learn about the model-referent relationship, as when unguided, they tend to errantly think of models as literal interpretations of their referents. Restating this problem we say students should learn about structure-preserving transformations between models and referents; including: what gets transformed, how it is transformed, and directions of information flow in transformation. To define what students should learn of this triumvirate, we introduce two explanatory statements: models are abstractions and models have transferability. We then investigated how readily students could learn about abstraction and transferability, and how this learning related to literal interpretation, by comparing pre- and posttest scores of modelling knowledge for students (<i>n</i> = 175) who participated in a modelling activity that provided experiences with abstraction and transferability. A control group (n=49) took identical tests but received no relevant instruction. Results showed that modelling students: (1) improved their capability to generate abstract models; (2) gained in their understanding that models represented their referents under transformation; and (3) consequently, did not think of models as literal interpretations. Lack of gains in the control ruled out a testing effect. We concluded that knowledge of structure-preserving transformations is a viable and valuable object of instruction.</p>
69999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
80699 Information Systems not elsewhere classified
Science Policy
Taylor & Francis
2020
2020-09-13
2020-10-18
Journal contribution
3867946 Bytes
10.1080/09500693.2020.1810354
10.6084/m9.figshare.12949636
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0