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Title:Exploring the nature of models in science, philosophy of science, and science education
Author(s):Belarmino, Jeremy J
Director of Research:Burbules, Nicholas
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burbules, Nicholas
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Higgins, Christopher R.; Brewer, William F.; Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Science education
Abstract:The term model is ubiquitous in science, philosophy of science, and science education. Although there is no general consensus regarding its definition, the traditional approach in all of these disciplines has always been to view models as some kind of representation of reality. Recently, however, there has been a move towards non-representational and deflationary accounts of modeling that eschew the notion that models must come equipped with both necessary and sufficient conditions. Following the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein, I develop my own narrative concerning modeling called the integration account. The integration account maintains that models are comprised of various elements that are organized in a distinctive way in order to solve scientific problems. Some of these elements include, but are not limited to: theories, laws, theory-ladenness of ideas, choice, funding availability, feasibility, social relationships, and even serendipity. The integration account encounters some difficulty when it is applied to the field of science education, in particular science teaching. The latter’s pedagogical project appears to run contrary to the integration account’s commitment to solving scientific problems. As a result, I propose that pedagogical models and scientific models be viewed as separate kinds of models, each replete with their own separate function. Scientific models should only be used by professional scientists to solve scientific problems and not used as teaching tools by science teachers. The reverse is also true. Pedagogical models can still be used by science teachers even if they have run their course when it comes to solving scientific problems.
Issue Date:2017-11-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Jeremy Belarmino
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-13
Date Deposited:2017-12

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