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Title: Ontological Alignment: Investigating the Role of the Teacher in Supporting Computational Modeling in Science Classrooms
Authors: Wagh, Aditi
Rosenbaum, Leah F.
Fuhrmann, Tamar
Eloy, Adelmo
Bumbacher, Engin
Blikstein, Paulo
Wilkerson, Michelle
Keywords: Learning Sciences
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Wagh, A., Rosenbaum, L. F., Fuhrmann, T., Eloy, A., Bumbacher, E., Blikstein, P., & Wilkerson, M. (2023). Ontological alignment: Investigating the role of the teacher in supporting computational modeling in science classrooms. In Blikstein, P., Van Aalst, J., Kizito, R., & Brennan, K. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2023 (pp. 1162-1165). International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Though the medium of computational modeling presents unique opportunities and challenges for science learning, little research examines how teachers can effectively support students in this work. To address this gap, we investigate how an experienced 6th grade teacher guides her students through programming computational, agent-based models of diffusion. Using interaction analysis of whole-class videos, we define a construct we call ontological alignment in which the teacher facilitates discourse to surface, highlight, connect and seek supporting or contradictory evidence for student ideas in ways that align with the level of analysis available in the modeling tool. We identify two practices reflecting this construct; the teacher 1. primes students to orient to interactions between particles and 2. strategically selects evidence to help discern between student theories. We discuss the pedagogical value of ontological alignment and suggest the identified practices as exemplary for supporting students’ learning through computational modeling.
Description: Short Paper
Appears in Collections:ISLS Annual Meeting 2023

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