InstructionTM in High School
Physics, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Biology
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
- Articles for everyone
- Articles, presentations, recommendations for educators
- Synopsis of the Modeling Method
- Detailed description of the Modeling
- A Modeling Method for
high school physics instruction
Read the article (AJP 7/95) describing the use of the
Modeling Method in Malcolm Wells' classroom.
- QuickTime movie of Malcolm
Wells, the high school teacher who originated Modeling
Instruction (7 minutes, 42 MB,1992).(warning! big file!) streaming
- Several QuickTime movies of modelers: Matt Greenwolfe, Dwain
Desbien, & Larry Dukerich's classroom teaching (on mechanics and sound
waves) in streaming
format . An 8-minute video for parents, too.
- Modeling Methodology for Physics
Teachers, by David Hestenes (1997). In E. Redish &
J. Rigden (Eds.) The changing role of the physics department in modern
universities, American Institute of Physics Part II. p. 935-957. David
Hestenes' seminal paper on models and modeling.
- David Hestenes' Lectures on Modeling Instruction to 50 teachers
in summer 1997 Modeling Workshops. Click to download. Then read insightful
responses on them by
Cindy Hunt, an expert modeler who was there.
- David Hestenes' Figure 2 from "Modeling Games in the Newtonian World". Use in your class, as Dr. Hestenes recoomended in his 1997 Lecture 2 on "Preconceptions" (see above).
- David Hestenes' list
of basic particle models in mechanics. View his comments, or
- Educate your colleagues and administrators
Click on the links below to download documents to convince colleagues
and administrators of the value of the Modeling Method of instruction.
presentations on Modeling Instruction, suitable for colleagues,
parents, administrators, school boards
- Key articles by Modeling Teachers
- Making Work Work - Gregg
first year of using Modeling Instruction - Mark Schober
Mark described his experiences at
the AAPT Summer meeting in 1999.
- Modeling and block scheduling:
a good match - Wayne Finkbeiner
- Modeling Instruction: the jazz
approach to high school physics - Dave Braunschweig
- Resources for the
Action Research, useful dissertations, papers/presentations
by teachers, adaptations for 9th grade physics; AP syllabi, real-world
projects & engineering, assessment, discourse, how to use whiteboards
effectively and where to buy them, what equipment will help you run a
Modeling Instruction course, ideas for remodeling your classroom, naive
student conceptions, funding sources and sample grant proposals, how to
increase enrollment, reviews of research.
links for modelers (Modelers' websites
& blogs; other modeling programs in sciences at all levels; computer
modeling, simulations, individual models; videos; science education research;
articles for administrators.)
- Compilations of teachers' posts to the Modeling listserv
and ChemMod listserv
260 compilations! Helpful hints on concerns that arise
in each unit of instruction, suggestions by modelers about classroom management,
pace, AP, whiteboarding and more...
- Workshops for professional development
in your school district or in partnership with
a local university.
workshops from 2 hours to 3 weeks duration. How to
organize and run them. Grant proposals, surveys, recruitment, ideas.
- Convincing documents
on the need for science teacher development. (updated 2013)
practicums - Activities that teachers can use at
the end of a unit to assess how well their students have learned the concepts
in that unit.
- Curriculum Resources for Modeling
- 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.
- 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 June 12, 2014
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