Primary School Students’ Conceptions about Scientific Models

By Michael Skoumios and Maria Tsiokanou.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 19, 2016 $US5.00

Scientific models are important thinking tools that are used to generate explanations and predictions. Involving students in modeling practices can help them build and evaluate scientific knowledge. Despite the important role of scientific models in learning science, research regarding students’ conceptions about scientific models is limited. The present study aims to investigate upper primary school students’ conceptions about scientific models. The study used individual, semi-structured interviews to assess students’ conceptions. A total of thirty primary school students (twelve years old) participated in the interviews. The data of this study were the individual answers of students. Students’ answers were classified into levels, based on a coding scheme. Data analysis allowed for the identification and recording of students’ conceptions about the following dimensions of scientific models: nature of models, purpose of models, changing models, and multiple models. It appeared that there are differences between students’ conceptions and scientific views about models. The paper concludes with a discussion of the results, implications, and recommendations for future research.

Keywords: Science Learning, Scientific Models, Students’ Conceptions

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 23, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.23-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 19, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 394.335KB)).

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Assistant Professor, Department of Primary Education, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece

Maria Tsiokanou

Teacher, Primary Education, Primary School Pastida, Rhodes, Greece