Talking modelling: examining secondary science teachers’ modelling-related talk during a model-based inquiry unit

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Department or Administrative Unit

Science Education

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This study examines the classroom talk about models and modelling of two secondary science teachers implementing a model-based inquiry instructional unit. The goal was to better understand the opportunities for explicit metamodeling talk in the science classroom. The findings revealed the ways in which they used language to frame the modelling work of the classroom. Instances of modelling talk were identified in classroom videos, and coded using a framework for metamodeling knowledge. Findings revealed that, while instances of metamodeling talk were common, they were largely implicit. This shows that the teachers were aware and knowledgeable about metamodeling ideas (e.g. the nature of models, process of modelling, etc.), but often did not make these ideas explicit to their students. Such findings suggest a trend of focusing on models of phenomena rather than supporting student engagement in the epistemic practice of modelling for reasoning about phenomena. The findings also revealed specific opportunities for explicit metamodeling talk by the teachers including during share-out sessions and the negotiation of explanation criteria. Further implications for classroom practice and research are discussed.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Science Education. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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International Journal of Science Education