Modeling Instruction

developed by: David Hestenes and Malcolm Wells

**Level**

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school other

calc based

alg based

conceptual

**Topics**

+2

**Setting**

### Overview

**What?** Instruction organized around active student construction of conceptual and mathematical models in an interactive learning community. Students engage with simple scenarios to build, test and apply the handful of scientific models that represent the content core of physics.

### Classroom video

### Student skills developed

**Designed for:**

- Conceptual understanding
- Problem-solving skills
- Using multiple representations
- Designing experiments
- Metacognition

**Can be adapted for:**

- Lab skills
- Making real-world connections

### Instructor effort required

- High

### Resources required

- Computers for students
- Advanced lab equipment
- Tables for group work

### Resources

**Developer's website:**Modeling

**Intro Article:**M. Wells, D. Hestenes, and G. Swackhamer, A modeling method for high school physics instruction, Am. J. Phys.

**63**(7), 606 (1995).

### Research

**RESEARCH VALIDATION**

**Silver Validation**

This is the second highest level of research validation, corresponding to:

- at least 1 of the "based on" categories
- at least 2 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
- at least 4 of the "studied using" categories

### Research Validation Summary

#### Based on Research Into:

- theories of how students learn
- student ideas about specific topics

#### Demonstrated to Improve:

- conceptual understanding
- problem-solving skills
- lab skills
- beliefs and attitudes
- attendance
- retention of students
- success of underrepresented groups
- performance in subsequent classes

#### Studied using:

- cycle of research and redevelopment
- student interviews
- classroom observations
- analysis of written work
- research at multiple institutions
- research by multiple groups
- peer-reviewed publication

### References

- I. Halloun, Modeling Theory in Science Education, (2004), Vol. 24, pp. 252.
- D. Hestenes, Modeling methodology for physics teachers, presented at the The changing role of physics departments in modern universities: International Conference on Undergraduate Physics, College Park, MD, 1996.
- K. Malone, A Comparative Study of the Cognitive and Metacognitive Differences between Modeling and Non-Modeling High School Physics Students, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, 2006.
- C. Megowan-Romanowicz, Framing Discourse for Optimal Learning in Science and Mathematics, Arizona State University, 2007.
- M. Wells, D. Hestenes, and G. Swackhamer, A modeling method for high school physics instruction, Am. J. Phys.
**63**(7), 606 (1995).