Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://repository.isls.org//handle/1/6464
Title: The Tension Between Pattern-seeking and Mechanistic Reasoning in Explanation Construction in Elementary Science Classroom
Authors: Tang, Xiaowei
Elby, Andrew
Hammer, David
Keywords: Teaching and Teacher Learning
Issue Date: Jun-2020
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Tang, X., Elby, A., & Hammer, D. (2020). The Tension Between Pattern-seeking and Mechanistic Reasoning in Explanation Construction in Elementary Science Classroom. In Gresalfi, M. and Horn, I. S. (Eds.), The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, 14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2020, Volume 4 (pp. 1855-1862). Nashville, Tennessee: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Through analysis of a representative case, we illustrate how instructional practices favor empirical pattern-seeking at the expense of mechanistic reasoning. When students spontaneously come up with hypothetical mechanisms to explain why a lightbulb in an electric circuit does or does not light, the teacher, following the guidance of curricula, redirects them to pattern-seeking. We argue that the bias toward pattern-seeking in Chinese national standards and curricula, combined with students’ ability and propensity to propose at least the seeds of mechanistic explanations, helps explain the classroom tension between pattern-seeking and mechanism reasoning. In discussion, we extend the argument to show a less severe but similar bias toward pattern-seeking in the United States’ Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
URI: https://doi.dx.org/10.22318/icls2020.1855
https://repository.isls.org//handle/1/6464
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2020

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