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Status and Plans for Professional Development in Modeling in Indiana in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Funding support: IN-DOE - Math Science Partnership ICHE – Improving Teacher Quality Siemens Foundation – Teacher Fellowships. Gordon Berry, Physics Department

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Status and Plans

for Professional Development

in Modeling in Indiana


Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Funding support:

IN-DOE - Math Science Partnership

ICHE – Improving Teacher Quality

Siemens Foundation – Teacher Fellowships

Gordon Berry, Physics Department

University of Notre Dame

what do we mean by models
What do we mean by “Models”?




Or idea

*Modeling in physics & Chemistry as developed at Arizona State University

The American Modeling Association – AMTA


why models
Why Models?
  • Models are basic units of knowledge
  • In all Science Research:
    • A few basic models are used again and again with only minor modifications.
  • Models help students connect
    • Macroscopic observations
    • Sub-microscopic representations
    • Symbolic representations

The students become SCIENTISTS – learning by DOING

why modeling
Why modeling?!
  • To help students see science as a way of viewing the world rather than as a collection of facts.
  • To make the coherence of scientific knowledge more evident to students by making it more explicit (quantitative).
  • Models and Systemsare explicitly recognized as major unifying ideas for all the sciences by the AAAS Project 2061 and the NGSS for the reform of US science education.

The NGSS’s Framework of

Scientific and Engineering Practices

1. Asking questions & defining problems

2. Developing & using models

3. Planning& carrying out investigations

4. Analyzing & interpreting data

5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

6. Constructing explanations & designing


7. Engaging in argument from evidence

8. Obtaining, evaluating, & communicating information


The Modeling Curriculum

In Physics and Chemistry:

A consistent and linked storyline developed over 20 years

At Arizona State University

for the complete semester/year

not a separated series of lessons

Developed using the “particle model”

(atoms, molecules, etc)

Follow the historical development…


How about Biology?


Not developed at ASU

Taught before the particle models of

Chemistry and Physics

Contrasts between micro and macro development

What are the themes and links of a “Biology story”?

Summer workshops in the past 2 years at Notre Dame,

Marian University and at University High School

developed by 35 Inspired, hard-working Indiana biology teachers


BIOLOGY: Themes and story development

See NISMEC website for teachers’ guides to the 9 UNITS:


Indiana Modeling PD Workshops

In the past 3-4 years

1. At Notre Dame (north), Indianapolis (central) and

Evansville (south)

1-week and 2-weeks for Physics and Chemistry Modeling

About 150 teachers have attended, and are now using modeling at least partially in their classrooms.

2. Developmental workshops in biology (last 2 years)

Goals for 2013 – to continue offering modeling workshops for

north, south and central Indiana teachers in

Chemistry, Physics and Biology

Difficulty: $ Money $ Money $

- Principally to pay teacher stipends and instructors


Plans for 2013 Summer workshops

Bad news: no modeling workshops in the South – USI –Evansville

and no modeling workshops in Indianapolis

Good news: modeling workshops in the North

1: June – 3 weeks of workshops at Morgan HS, Hammond

for ICP and Biology teachers

2: July – 3 weeks of workshops at Notre Dame

for ICP and Biology teachers

Bad news: only limited funding for stipends


Detailed schedule of summer 2013 workshops

1. Hammond modeling workshops

2. Notre Dame modeling workshops

Applications: Fill in form or

email –

or NISMEC website

how to teach modeling
How to Teach Modeling?

constructivist vstransmissionist

cooperative inquiry vs lecture/demonstration

student-centered vs teacher-centered

active engagement vs passive reception

student activity vs teacher demonstration

student articulation vs teacher presentation

lab-based vs textbook-based

Guided Inquiry -> group investigations

-> peer learning of concepts


Inquiring minds may want to know different answers to the same question:

In Science, Literature, Life

modeling and guided inquiry
Modeling and Guided Inquiry

A 3-part lesson-plan:PIP and the SIP* Process

Problem-setting (Engagement)

Investigate (Explore)

Publish (Evaluate)

Each part must be Satisfying, Intentional Problem-solving*

*SIP - concept – ref. - Mary Hynes-Berry – “Don’t Leave the Story in the Book”


Elegant Solutions

are the highest order of what might be termed

Quality Intellectual Work

To produce

good scientists,

good humanists,

good world citizens,

our goal must be to support quality intellectual work in teaching and learning at all levels,

i.e. from earliest childhood til’ death do us part.

Learning in science or the humanities is the same process

IN and OUT of the classroom


A Science problem: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Has the science in this story ever worried you?


How could the porridge in the Bears’ bowls be too hot, too cold and just right?

Working with your group

Develop an explanatory scenario that is consistent

with your scientific understanding.

Prepare a whiteboard with your explanation….

Include as many “modeling representations” as you can

You remember those representations!!!

Verbal, pictorial, algebraic, symbolic, diagrammatic, graphical

Today’s special: Include an equation (algebraic representation)






Quality Intellectual Work

Every child is a scientist at play:

Wondering and problem-solving about how the world works.

Every scientist/teacher was (is?) a child at play.