The Modeling Method of High School Physics Instruction began development at Arizona State University in 1990 under the leadership of David Hestenes, now Emeritus Professor of Physics, and Malcolm Wells, award-winning high school physics teacher in Tempe. 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 and with the NRC "Framework for K-12 Science Education", the research basis for the Next Generation Science 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 nationwide, in the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA). The AMTA developed Middle school Modeling Workshops, too.
is Modeling Instruction? teacher Frank Noschese's insightful narrative
on his Action-Reaction blog, with links to introductory readings, videos
(Luke Diamond and Jennifer Dye, Matt Greenwolfe, Frank Noschese’s
TedxNYED talk, Seth Guinals-Kupperman), and a podcast by Mark Schober.
Also, stories of modelers in their own words (Colleen Megowan, Fran
Poodry, Nick Cabot, and Frank Noschese).
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.
Resources for the
A long webpage on 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.
Web 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...
Modeling Workshops for professional development in your school district or in partnership with a local university.
Lab 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.
This page is maintained by Jane Jackson
last updated on November 21, 2018
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Department of Physics, ASU, P.O. Box 871504, Tempe, AZ 85287-1504.
Phone: 480-965-3561, FAX: 480-965-7954. Contact us: email@example.com