Coordinator: Prof. Ayush Gupta
Graduate Course (Elective)
Coordinator: Dr. Mashood K. K.
Models and modelling in science education and in science: Some reflections from a perspective of what we (might) know about practices of science.
Prof. Ismo Koponen
940 5808 5713
Models and modelling in science education has been an extensively discussed topic at least for two decades in science education. The first clearly formulated suggestion to use model-based approached in science education go back to Hestene’s modelling approach in physics education, which became more widely known in late 1990s. The interest toward the topic gained more momentum in early years of millennium, when several researchers in science education started to take the realist positions on science, many of them favoring the views on models and modelling based on science philosophers’ views on science, from perspective of the so-called semantic view on theories (SVT). Curiously, while in philosophy of science SVT was a reaction to earlier logical empiricism and more formal, structural views on theories, in science education, the semantic view became combined with realistic positions, and apparently as a reaction to constructivism. Many of the supporters of these views in science education motivated their stances by appealing to notion science education should have a certain epistemic authenticity, and that because scientists, especially physicist, are realists, realistic positions should be adopted as basis of modelling in science education. In closer look, however, such assumption was, is (and will be) untenable and provides a shaky basis to seek authenticity. In preferring the combination of SVT with realist positions, one may argue, science education researcher lost the power of creative modelling and its constructive roles in knowledge creation. Now, more recently, in philosophy of science some researcher have turned to approaches, which put emphasis on creative components of modelling and model construction, seeking support form understanding of practices of science. This movement has been dubbed to science philosophy in practice of science. Such view borrows many features from SVT but does not remain stuck on realist positions and is more perceptible to diversity of views. In this talk, I will discuss some of these more recent approaches, as well as some recent studies about scientists’ positions, and how we may possibly take advantage of them in developing approaches for science education.
I am leading a research group of physics education research in Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland. My research areas are physics education research (learning and instruction of physics) and material physics (computational). My research in didactical physics is on physics teacher education and higher education in physics, focusing on modelling of the learning processes and cognitive processes of learning, as they are accessible from empirical data. In that, the most important works are: network approach on concept learning, and model of conceptual change. Previous research topics include conceptual learning and epistemological role of models and experiments in learning physics. (For more details visit: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/persons/ismo-koponen)