**MODELING INSTRUCTION
– AN OVERVIEW**

** **

Unlike
traditional teaching approaches, in which students wade through an endless
stream of seemingly unrelated topics, Modeling Instruction organizes the course
around a small number of scientific models, thus making the course coherent. In
development since 1990 under the leadership of David Hestenes (Emeritus
Professor of Physics, Arizona State University), Modeling Instruction applies
structured inquiry techniques to the teaching of basic skills and practices in
mathematical modeling, proportional reasoning, quantitative estimation and
technology-enabled data collection and analysis.

Modeling
Instruction is an evolving, research-based program for high school science
education reform that emphasizes constructing and applying conceptual models of
physical, chemical, and biological phenomena as a central aspect of learning
and doing science. The Modeling method of instruction corrects many weaknesses
of the traditional lecture-demonstration method, including fragmentation of
knowledge, student passivity, and persistence of naïve beliefs about the
physical world.

From
its inception, the Modeling Instruction program has been concerned with
reforming high school teaching disciplines to make them more coherent and
student-centered, and to incorporate the computer as an essential modeling
tool. In a series of intensive workshops over two years, high school teachers
learn to be leaders in science teaching reform and technology infusion in their
schools. They are equipped with a robust teaching methodology for developing
student abilities to make sense of physical experience, understand scientific
claims, articulate coherent opinions of their own and defend them with cogent
arguments, and evaluate evidence in support of justified belief.

Instead
of relying on lectures and textbooks, Modeling Instruction emphasizes active
student construction of conceptual and mathematical models in an interactive
learning community. Students are engaged with simple scenarios to learn to
model the physical world. Modeling cultivates science teachers as school
experts on use of technology in science teaching, and encourages
teacher-to-teacher training in science teaching methods, thereby providing
schools and school districts with a valuable resource for broader reform.

Data
on students of teachers who have been through the Modeling Instruction program
show that students typically achieve twice the learning gain on a standard test
of conceptual understanding as students who are taught conventionally. Further,
Modeling Instruction is successful with students who have not traditionally
done well in physics. Experienced modelers report increased enrollments in
physics classes, parental satisfaction, and enhanced achievement in college
courses across the curriculum.

Adapted
from
http://academyofscienceandarts.org/press-releases/home/sample-page/coaching/math-and-science-modeling/math-and-science-learn-more/

2013