Modeling InstructionTM in High School Sciences

The Modeling Method of High School Physics Instruction has been under development at Arizona State University since 1990 under the leadership of David Hestenes, now Emeritus Professor of Physics. The program cultivates physics teachers as school experts on effective use of guided inquiry in science teaching, thereby providing schools and school districts with a valuable resource for broader reform. Program goals are fully aligned with National Science Education Standards. The Modeling Method corrects many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method, including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity, and persistence of naive beliefs about the physical world. Unlike the traditional approach, in which students wade through an endless stream of seemingly unrelated topics, the Modeling Method organizes the course around a small number of scientific models, thus making the course coherent. In 2000 the program was extended to physical science and in 2005 to chemistry, by demand of committed teachers. In 2011, we wrote proposals for a new program in biology. Our proposals were not funded, but development continues in North Carolina.


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Articles, presentations, recommendations for educators

Curriculum Resources for Modeling Instruction
Here are sample instructional materials that give you some sense of what Modeling Instruction is about. Modeling Instruction is not a curriculum; rather, it is a WAY to teach; a pedagogy and a flexible curriculum design or framework. Most teachers need at least three weeks of immersion in a Modeling Workshop to use these resources effectively.

Workshop participants have access to the most current materials and resources on the password-protected "Participants Resources" webpage.

Material in this web site is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-9353423. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necesarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

List of 200 Teachers in Leadership Modeling Workshops (1995-1999) by state

Hundreds of teachers are eager to lead local reform of physics, chemistry, and physical science. As of 2013, about 5200 high school and college teachers in 49 states have taken a Modeling Workshop, and 800 middle school teachers. (This outdated list is the 200 teachers who participated from 1995 to 1999 four weeks each summer for two summers.) Please ask Jane Jackson for contact information of leaders in your locale.

Research & Evaluation

The Force Concept Inventory (FCI), Mechanics Baseline Test (MBT), and Views About Science Survey (VASS) as well as published papers on these instruments, findings of the Modeling Workshop Project, evaluation reports, and taxonomies of student conceptions in mechanics.

This page is maintained by Jane Jackson
last updated on August 12, 2015

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