Model-Based Reasoning: A Commonality Between Scientific Investigation and Science Education
Ero-Tolliver, Isi A
This interdisciplinary project involved both biomedical research and science education research. I explored the learning opportunities and commonalities between learners in two different environments: a biomedical research laboratory and an elementary classroom. I analyzed my work as a graduate student, who performed benchside research on an enzyme called peroxidasin, and I compared the learning experience with that of elementary students who learned about the process of decomposition of organic materials. I learned that the commonality between myself and the elementary students was the practice of modeling as a form of understanding scientific phenomenon. Overall, this interdisciplinary plan of study helped me to gain a deeper understanding of biological science through formal coursework, and by conducting research in the department of medicine, and a deeper understanding of how students learn science as a graduate research assistant in the Peabody Science Education department. Most importantly, I gained an insight about modeling as an approach for biomedical investigations and for translating knowledge of biology to elementary students. I conclude that scientists as science classroom teachers and/or a partnership between scientists and classroom teachers is needed in the modern classroom in order to create lessons, curriculum, and standards that engage the students with hands-on level that involves reading, modeling and questioning/debating, activities that are beyond that of traditional memorization and recall for descriptive test questions.