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Full-Text Articles in Education

Energy Tracking Diagrams, Rachel E. Scherr, Benedikt W. Harrer, Hunter G. Close, Abigail R. Daane, Lezlie S. Dewater, Amy D. Robertson, Lane Seeley, Stamatis Vokos Dec 2015

Energy Tracking Diagrams, Rachel E. Scherr, Benedikt W. Harrer, Hunter G. Close, Abigail R. Daane, Lezlie S. Dewater, Amy D. Robertson, Lane Seeley, Stamatis Vokos

Benedikt W. Harrer

Energy is a crosscutting concept in science and features prominently in national science education documents. In the Next Generation Science Standards, the primary conceptual learning goal is for learners to conserve energy as they track the transfers and transformations of energy within, into, or out of the system of interest in complex physical processes. As part of tracking energy transfers among objects, learners should (i) distinguish energy from matter, including recognizing that energy flow does not uniformly align with the movement of matter, and should (ii) identify specific mechanisms by which energy is transferred among objects, such as mechanical work ...


Identifying Productive Resources In Secondary School Students' Discourse About Energy, Benedikt Walter Harrer Aug 2015

Identifying Productive Resources In Secondary School Students' Discourse About Energy, Benedikt Walter Harrer

Benedikt W. Harrer

A growing program of research in science education acknowledges the beginnings of disciplinary reasoning in students’ ideas and seeks to inform instruction that responds productively to these disciplinary progenitors in the moment to foster their development into sophisticated scientific practice. This dissertation examines secondary school students’ ideas about energy for progenitors of disciplinary knowledge and practice. Previously, researchers argued that students’ ideas about energy were constrained by stable and coherent conceptual structures that conflicted with an assumed unified scientific conception and therefore needed to be replaced. These researchers did not attend to the productive elements in students’ ideas about energy ...


Productive Resources In Students’ Ideas About Energy: An Alternative Analysis Of Watts’ Original Interview Transcripts, Benedikt W. Harrer, Virginia J. Flood, Michael C. Wittmann Dec 2012

Productive Resources In Students’ Ideas About Energy: An Alternative Analysis Of Watts’ Original Interview Transcripts, Benedikt W. Harrer, Virginia J. Flood, Michael C. Wittmann

Benedikt W. Harrer

For over 30 years, researchers have investigated students’ ideas about energy with the intent of reforming instructional practice. In this pursuit, Watts contributed an influential study with his 1983 paper “Some alternative views of energy” [Phys. Educ. 18, 213 (1983)]. Watts’ “alternative frameworks” continue to be used for categorizing students’ non-normative ideas about energy. Using a resources framework, we propose an alternate analysis of student responses from Watts’ interviews. In our analysis, we show how students’ activated resources about energy are disciplinarily productive. We suggest that fostering seeds of scientific understandings in students’ ideas about energy may play an important ...


Students Talk About Energy In Project- Based Inquiry Science, Benedikt W. Harrer, Virginia J. Flood, Michael C. Wittmann Dec 2012

Students Talk About Energy In Project- Based Inquiry Science, Benedikt W. Harrer, Virginia J. Flood, Michael C. Wittmann

Benedikt W. Harrer

We examine the types of emergent language eighth grade students in rural Maine middle schools use when they discuss energy in their first experiences with Project-Based Inquiry Science: Energy, a research-based curriculum that uses a specific language for talking about energy. By comparative analysis of the language used by the curriculum materials to students’ language, we find that students’ talk is at times more aligned with a Stores and Transfer model of energy than the Forms model supported by the curriculum.


Elements Of Proximal Formative Assessment In Learners’ Discourse About Energy, Benedikt W. Harrer, Rachel E. Scherr, Michael C. Wittmann, Hunter G. Close, Brian W. Frank Dec 2011

Elements Of Proximal Formative Assessment In Learners’ Discourse About Energy, Benedikt W. Harrer, Rachel E. Scherr, Michael C. Wittmann, Hunter G. Close, Brian W. Frank

Benedikt W. Harrer

Proximal formative assessment, the just-in-time elicitation of students' ideas that informs ongoing instruction, is usually associated with the instructor in a formal classroom setting. However, the elicitation, assessment, and subsequent instruction that characterize proximal formative assessment are also seen in discourse among peers. We present a case in which secondary teachers in a professional development course at SPU are discussing energy flow in refrigerators. In this episode, a peer is invited to share her thinking (elicitation). Her idea that refrigerators move heat from a relatively cold compartment to a hotter environment is inappropriately judged as incorrect (assessment). The "instruction" (peer ...