Should physicists preach what they practice?
- Nancy J. Nersessian
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Does one need to think like a scientist to learn science? To what extent can examining the cognitive activities of scientists provide insights for developing effective pedagogical practices? The cognition and instruction literature has focused on providing a model of expert knowledge structures. To answer these questions, what is needed is a model of expert reasoning practices. This analysis is a step in that direction. It focuses on a tacit dimension of the thinking practices of expert physicists, “constructive modeling”. Drawing on studies of historical cases and protocol accounts of expert reasoning in scientific problem solving, it is argued that having expertise in physics requires facility with the practice of “constructive modeling” that includes the ability to reason with models viewed generically. Issues pertaining to why and how this practice of experts might be incorporated into teaching are explored.
- Bhatta, S. & Goel, A.: 1993, “Learning generic mechanisms from experience for analogical reasoning”, Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.
- Bobrow, D.G. (ed.): 1985, Qualitative Reasoning About Physical Systems, MIT/Bradford Books, Cambridge, MA.
- Brown, J.S., Collins, A. & Duguid, P.: 1989, ‘Situated cognition and the culture of learning”, Educational Researcher 18, 32–42.
- Cartwright, N.: 1989, Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement, Clarendon, Oxford.
- Chi, M.T.H., Feltovich, P.J. & Glaser, R.: 1981, “Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices”, Cognitive Science 5, 121–52.
- Chi, M.T.H. & Glaser, R.: 1988, The Nature of Expertise, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.
- Clement, J.: 1989, “Learning via model construction and criticism”, in G. Glover, R. Ronning, and C. Reynolds (eds.), Handbook of Creativity: Assessment, Theory, and Research, Plenum, New York, 341–81.
- Craik, K.: 1943, The Nature of Explanation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- De Kleer, J. and Brown, J.S.: 1983, ‘Assumptions and Ambiguities in Mechanistic Mental Models”, in Gentner & Stevens, 155–190.
- Driver, R. & Easley, J.: 1978, “Pupils and Paradigms: A Review of Literature Related to Concept Development in Adolescent Science Students”, Studies in Science Education 5, 61–84.
- Duschl, R.A.: 1990, Restructuring Science Education: The Importance of Theories and Their Development, Teachers College Press, New York.
- Ericsson, K.A. & Smith, J.: 1991, Toward a General Theory of Expertise, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Faraday, M.: 1835–55, Experimental Researches in Electricity, Dover, New York.
- Feynman, R.P., Leighton, R.B. & Sands, M.: 1964, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.
- Gentner, D. and Gentner, D.R.: 1983, “Flowing Waters or Teaming Crowds: Mental Models of Electricity”, in Gentner & Stevens, 99–130.
- Gentner, D. and Stevens, A.L.: 1983, Mental Models, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.
- Gilhooly, K.J.: 1986, “Mental Modelling: A Framework for the Study of Thinking”, in J. Bishop, J. Lochhead, and D. Perkins (eds.), Thinking: Progress in Research and Teaching, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, New Jersy, 19–32.
- Giere, R.N.: 1988, Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Gooding, D.C.: 1980, “Metaphysics vs measurement: the conversion and conservation of force in Faraday's physics”, Annals of Science 37, 1–29.
- Gooding, D.C.: 1990, Experiment and the Making of Meaning: Human Agency in Scientific Observation and Experiment, Kluwer, Dordrecht.
- Gorman, M. & Carlson, B.: 1990, “Interpreting invention as a cognitive process: the case of Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and the telephone”, Science, Technology, and Human Values 15, 131–164.
- Halloun, I.A. & Hestenes, D.: 1985: “Common sense concepts about motion”, American Journal of Physics 53, 1056–1065.
- Jackson, J.D.: 1962, Classical Electrodynamics, Wiley, New York.
- Johnson-Laird, P.N.: 1983, Mental Models, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
- Johnson-Larid, P.N.: 1989, “Mental Models”, in M. Posner (ed.), Foundations of Cognitive Science, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 469–500.
- Kolodner, J. & Wills, L.: 1993, “Case-based creative design”, in AAAI Spring Symposium on AI and Creativity, Stanford, CA.
- Larkin, J., McDermott, J., Simon, D.P. and Simon, H.A.: 1980, “Models of competence in solving physics problems”, Cognitive Science 11, 65–99.
- Maxwell, J.C.: 1890, The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, W.D. Niven (ed.), Cambridge University, Cambridge.
- Maxwell, J.C.: 1855–6, “On Faraday's lines of force”, in Scientific Papers, vol. 1, 155–229.
- Maxwell, J.C.: 1861–2, “On physical lines of force”, in Scientific Papers, vol. 1, 451–513.
- Maxwell, J.C.: 1864, “A dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field”, in Scientific Papers, vol. 1, 526–97.
- McDermott, L.: 1984, “An Overview of Research on Conceptual Understanding in Physics”, unpublished manuscript.
- Nersessian, N.J.: 1984, Faraday to Einstein: Constructing Meaning in Scientific Theories, Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht.
- Nersessian, N.J.: 1985, “Faraday's field concept”, in D.C. Gooding and F.A.J.L. James (eds.), Faraday Rediscovered: Essays on the Life & Work of Michael Faraday, Macmillan, London, 377–406.
- Nersessian, N.J.: 1989, “Conceptual change in science and in science education”, Synthese 80, 163–84.
- Nersessian, N.J.: 1992, “How Do Scientists Think? Capturing the Dynamics of Conceptual Change in Science”, in R. Giere (ed.), Cognitive Models of Science, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15, U. of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 3–44.
- Nersessian, N.J.: 1993, “In the theoretician's laboratory: thought experimenting as mental modeling”, PSA 1992, vol. 2, D. Hull, M. Forbes, & K. Okruhlik (eds.), 291–301, PSA, East Lansing, Michigan.
- Nersessian, N.J.: in press, “Abstraction via Generic Modeling in Concept Formation in Science”, in N. Cartwright & M.R. Jones (eds.), Idealization in Science, Editions Rodophi, Amsterdam.
- Nersessian, N.J.: in process, Creativity and Conceptual Change: A Constructivist View, (MIT/Bradford Books).
- Nersessian, N.J. & Greeno, J.G.: in process, “Constructive Modeling in Creating Scientific Understanding”, manuscript.
- Nersessian, N.J. & Resnick, L.B.: 1989, “Comparing Historical and Intuitive Explanations of Motion: Does ‘Naive’ Physics Have a Structure?”, in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society 11, 412–420, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.
- Panofsky, W. & Phillips, M.: 1962, Classical Electricity and Magnetism, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.
- Perrig, W. & Kintsch, W.: 1985, “Propositional and Situational Representations of Text”, Journal of Memory and Language 24, 503–518.
- Polya, G. (1954), Induction and Analogy in Mathematics, Vol. 1., Princeton University, Princeton.
- Ram, A., Wills, L., Domeshek, E., Nersessian, N. & Kolodner, J.: in press, “Understanding the creative mind”, AI Journal.
- Simon, D.P. & Simon, D.: 1978, “Individual differences in solving physics problems”, in R.S. Seigler (ed.), Children's Thinking: What Develops?, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.
- Stroulia, E. & Goel, A.: 1992, “Generic Teleological Mechanisms and their Use in Case Adaptation”, Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 319–324, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.
- Thagard, P., Gochfeld, D. & Hardy, S.: 1993, “Visual analogical mapping”, Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.
- Tweney, R.D. & Gooding, D.C.: in process, “Qualitative Skills in Quantitative Thinking: Faraday as a Mathematical Philosopher”, manuscript.
- White, B.Y.: 1993, “Thinker Tools: Causal Models, Conceptual Change, and Science Education”, Cognition and Instruction 10.
- Wills, L.M. & Kolodner, J.L.: 1994, “Explaining Serendipitous Recognition in Design”, Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J.
- Wiser, M.: 1992, “Mental models and computer models of thermal physics”, unpublished manuscript.
- Should physicists preach what they practice?
Science & Education
Volume 4, Issue 3 , pp 203-226
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Author Affiliations
- 1. School of Literature, Communication, & Culture, College of Computing, School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, 30307-0165, Atlanta, GA, USA