Bridging the Gap Between Tabletop Models and the Earth System

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

This project is studying how students learn, and teachers teach, earth system science using physical models.


This project takes place in two middle schools and one high school in Westchester and Rockland Counties in New York State.

Research Design: 

The research design for this project is longitudinal. The project is designed to generate evidence that is descriptive [design research, observational] and associative/correlational [quasi-experimental]. The project also collects original data using assessments of learning [achievement tests], observation [videography], and survey research [semi-structure or informal interviews].

The project uses an intervention targeting teacher pedagogical strategies and uses a pre/post written assessment of students' thinking with models around three Earth Science content topics and a teacher interview about use of models in Earth Science instruction. Correlational analysis of pre/post gains is used to evaluate classroom instructional strategies. Students having the same teachers in the prior year are used as a comparison group.


Findings will be added as they become available.

Publications & Presentations: 

Kastens, K. & Rivet, A. (2010). Using analogical mapping to assess the affordances of scale models used in earth and environmental science education. In C. Holscher et al (Eds), Spatial Cognition VII (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 6222). Springer, p. 112-124.