Exploring How Students Manipulate Their Mental Models to Generate Scientific Predictions and Explanations: an Example of Heat Convection
究者預計採用Chiou and Anderson (2010)所建議的本體-過程(ontology-process)整合模式
Knowing how students manipulate their mental models to make scientific predictions and explanations is a key element to help them engage in meaningful science learning. Based on this belief, the main purpose of this present study is to explore students’ mental models of heat convection. Special attention will be focused on how students use their mental models to predict and explain physical phenomena related to heat convection, and whether they can use multiple mental models to represent the process of heat convention. To probe students’ mental models of heat convection, this present study will conduct semi-structured interviews to collect research data, and will recruit fifty science or engineering majors as the participants/interviewees. Particularly, in order to successfully capture students’ on-the-spot mental models, a series of interview-about-event questions will be used to elicit the participants’ think-aloud protocols, utterances, drawings, and writings. Based on these multiple types of data, this present study will utilize the ontology-process approach (Chiou & Anderson, 2010) to conduct the data analysis. That is, the participants’ ontological beliefs of heat convection as well as their simulations of the dynamic process of heat convection will be jointly considered to interpret how the participants manipulate their mental models to generate predictions and explanations. Moreover, the participants’ ontological beliefs and imaginary processes of heat convention will be used to not only differentiate the mental models held by different participants, but examine the coherence of the mental models expressed by the same participant. Optimistically, the results of this study can help to enhance science teachers’ understanding of how students manipulate their mental models of heat convection, and can provide a solid foundation for designing model-based instruction of heat convection. Furthermore, the detailed qualitative information offered by this study can shed some light on the construction and verification of mental model theories.