Learning the concept of scientific model by means of analysing didactical scientific Simulations

Gutierrez, Rufina; Pinto, Roser and Whitelock, Denise (2012). Learning the concept of scientific model by means of analysing didactical scientific Simulations. In: CBLIS 2012 (10th International Conference on a Computer Based Learning in Science): Learning Science in the Society of Computers, 26-29 Jun 2012, Barcelona, Spain.

URL: http://cblis2012.crecim.cat/

Abstract

It is well known from the data provided by the literature that the concept of a scientific model is far from having been accurately assimilated by students and by teachers. This paper presents a preliminary study, the aim of which is to test the possibility of using the analysis of didactical scientific simulations (ADSS) to introduce the concept of the scientific model (SM). We carried out the experiment with six science postgraduates. For the ADSS we took advantage of a validated instrument based on ontological approaches to the SM concept. We designed a four-hour seminar, divided in two parts: In the first, we administered a previously validated questionnaire, in order to see the conceptions of the sample about what an SM is; subsequently, we introduce the concept of scientific simulations from a theoretical perspective, and guide the practical analysis of several scientific didactical simulations (SDS), applying the SM concept. In the second part, we presented several simulations to the subjects, and we asked them to analyze each of them with the same criteria, but without any guide. At the end of the whole process, we asked the subjects to write down how they could explain the concept of SM to a colleague. The results of the comparison between the answers collected in the questionnaire and the explanations provided in the last task, gave us enough evidence to be optimistic about the efficacy of using this methodology in introducing the learning of the SM concept.

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