Developed by: David Hestenes and Malcolm Wells
middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school other
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.
Student skills developed
- Conceptual understanding
- Problem-solving skills
- Using multiple representations
- Designing experiments
- Lab skills
- Making real-world connections
Instructor effort required
- Computers for students
- Advanced lab equipment
- Tables for group work
- Modeling workshops: The American Modeling Teachers Association offers 3-week in-person workshops all over the country every summer. Find one near you.
- Blog post from Frank Noschese with lots of resources
- Modeling Instruction in the Science Classroom (podcast) Mark Schober, president of the American Modeling Teacher’s Association, shares a history of modeling, how it can be used in the classroom, and that it is for more than just physics courses. From NSTA’s Lab Out Loud podcast.
More videos of teachers using Modeling Instruction
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
- retention of students
- success of underrepresented groups
- performance in subsequent classes
- cycle of research and redevelopment
- student interviews
- classroom observations
- analysis of written work
- research at multiple institutions
- research by multiple groups
- peer-reviewed publication
- 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).