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Article first published online: 12 JUN 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 96, Issue 4, pages 701–724, July 2012
How to Cite
Lehrer, R. and Schauble, L. (2012), Seeding evolutionary thinking by engaging children in modeling its foundations. Sci. Ed., 96: 701–724. doi: 10.1002/sce.20475
Accepted under the editorship of Gregory Kelly.
- Issue published online: 12 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 12 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Received: 4 MAR 2011
- National Science Foundation. Grant Number: 0628253
Although the core work of science is oriented toward constructing, revising, applying, and defending models of the natural world, models appear only rarely in school science, and usually only as illustrations, rather than theory building tools. We describe the rationale and structure for a learning progression to understand the development of modeling under supportive forms of instruction. In this case, elementary and middle school students are modeling “big ideas” in the life sciences that hold the promise of serving as a conceptual foundation for reasoning about the theory of evolution later in their education. In this conceptual paper, we sketch changes from grades K through 6 in representational and modeling practices across three interlocking constructs that, considered collectively, comprise the aforementioned conceptual foundation: Change (in individuals and populations), Variation, and Ecosystems. The paper closes by delineating pedagogical principles for supporting the development of modeling across grades of instruction. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed 96:701–724, 2012