Teachers' views on the nature of models
Justi, R. S. and Gilbert, J. K. (2003) Teachers' views on the nature of models. International Journal of Science Education, 25 (11). pp. 1369-1386. ISSN 0950-0693
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/0950069032000070324
A semi-structured interview was used in Brazil to enquire into the 'notion of model' held by a total sample of 39 science teachers who were: employed in 'fundamental' (6-14 years) and 'medium' (15-17 years) schools; student science teachers currently doing their practicum; and university science teachers. Seven 'aspects' of their notions of a model were identified: the nature of a model, the use to which it can be put, the entities of which it consists, its relative uniqueness, the time span over which it is used, its status in the making of predictions, and the basis for the accreditation of its existence and use. Categories of meaning were identified for each of these aspects. The profiles of teachers' notions of 'model' in terms of the aspects and categories were complex, providing no support for the notion of 'Levels' in understanding. Teachers with degrees in chemistry or physics had different views about the notion of 'model' to those with degrees in biology or with teacher training certificates.