This article presents an argument for learner-centered modeling tools and approaches that take into account students’ conceptions. Based on a theoretical argument for the interplay of grounded activity and systematic inquiry, the article reports on a study of an integrated science and mathematics class investigating the motion of an object down an inclined plane. The students use an approach that integrates experimental apparatus, simulation (Interactive Physics), and multirepre-sentational analysis (Function Probe). The authors conclude that (a) students should be presented with curricular challenges that are tied to essential questions and make thoughtful and effective use of new technologies; (b) the curriculum should unite context, purpose, action, and inquiry in a single enterprise; (c) modeling activities must recognize the critical need to elicit students’ points of view and conceptions and to foster their development; and (d) modeling tools and environments should be designed to support the articulation and exploration of diverse student conceptions in order to support equity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications