Related Paper Set at NARST

Four members of CLSG presented a related paper set at the Annual International Meeting of NARST in Orlando Florida. The title of the set was Discussion-Based Teaching Strategies to Support Mental Modeling: Animated Images, Static Images, and Mental Imaging. Presenters were Grant Williams, Norm Price, Abi Leibovich, and Lynn Stephens and Phil Scott was discussant.

A large set of model-based teaching strategies gathered over a period of several years from classroom observations, transcript analyses, and teacher interviews are examined through multiple lenses.

Multiple Levels of Discussion-Based Teaching Strategies for Supporting Students’ Construction of Mental Models, by E. Grant Williams and John J. Clement, describes teaching strategies that experienced high school physics educators utilized during whole-class discussions to engage their students in the construction of explanatory mental models. These fell at distinct levels including dialogic and model construction levels.

Comparative Case Studies of Discussion Strategies Used in Dynamic Computer Simulation and Static Image-Based Lessons, by Norman Price and John J. Clement, uses comparative case studies to describe and compare large group discussion strategies used in computer simulation and static overhead based lessons. It suggests that a simulation can be useful not only because it has a dynamic mode but also because it has a static mode.

Hands On Small-Group vs. Whole Class Use of Animations and Simulations: Comparative Case Studies in Projectile Motion, by A. Lynn Stephens, uses comparative case study analyses to compare teacher and student strategies for using interactive simulations in either small group or whole class settings in high school physics. It considers possible explanations for why the hands-on small group work did not produce better results than the whole class work.

Discussion-Based Strategies for Use of Simulations and Animations in Middle and High School Science Classrooms, by Abi Leibovitch, A. Lynn Stephens, Norman Price, and John J. Clement, describes the process by which many of the strategies for using simulations were gathered and how they were organized using teacher feedback. It also highlights some trends that were observed in the strategies themselves.