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Conceptual Resources in Self-developed Explanatory models

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Title: Conceptual Resources in Self-developed Explanatory models
Author(s): Cheng, Meng-Fei; Brown, David E.
Subject(s): Conceptual resource Conceptual change Explanatory model Intuition Verbal symbolic knowledge
Abstract: This study explores two questions: first, what conceptual resources do students use, and in what ways do they use them, to construct explanatory models? Second, what are the obstacles preventing them from constructing a useful explanatory model? Our findings indicate that students employ their conscious and unconscious knowledge in their reasoning process. Connecting intuitive knowledge and abstract knowledge is important for students to construct coherent and sophisticated explanatory models. If students rely only on intuitive knowledge, they may construct a tentative and non-sophisticated explanatory model; however, if students rely only on verbal symbolic knowledge at an abstract level without connection with their intuition, they may not have the ability to construct an explanatory model. This research shows that instruction needs to help students connect their verbal symbolic knowledge and intuition to construct their own explanatory model to make sense of abstract scientific knowledge.
Issue Date: 2007-04
Type: Text
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2008-04-08

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