The Relationship between Students' Epistemologies and Model-Based Reasoning
Janice Gobert, Jennifer Discenna March 28, 1997
This paper by Janice Gobert and Jennifer Discenna was presented at the 1997 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Chicago, IL. The investigation considers the relationship between students’ epistemology of scientific models and their success at learning about the complex system of plate tectonics. To achieve this goal, ninth grade students were asked to draw three diagrams, a static model, a casual/dynamic model of the movement in the layers and an outcome on the world from such movement. Results show that there were no significant differences found between the naïve epistemology group and the sophisticated epistemology group on their understanding of the spatial/static or casual/dynamic aspects of the domain. There was a significant difference found between the naïve epistemology group and the sophisticated epistemology group on their knowledge acquired through inference on the basis of their models.