Models and Modelling: Routes to More Authentic Science Education


DOI: 10.1007/s10763-004-3186-4

Cite this article as:
Gilbert, J.K. Int J Sci Math Educ (2004) 2: 115. doi:10.1007/s10763-004-3186-4


It is argued that a central role for models and modelling would greatly increase the authenticity of the science curriculum. The range of ontological states available for the notion of ‘model’ is outlined, together with the modes available for their representation. Issues in the selection of models for and the development of modelling skills within the model-based curriculum are presented. It is suggested that learning within such a curriculum entails: acquiring an acceptable understanding of what a model is and how modelling takes place; having a developed capacity to mentally visualise models; understanding the natures of analogy and of metaphor, processes which are central to models and modelling. The emphases required in teaching for this learning to be supported are discussed. Finally, implications of the model-based curriculum for teacher education are evaluated. It is concluded that a great deal of detailed research and development will be needed if the potential of this change in emphasis within the science curriculum is to be realised.


analogy and metaphorauthentic science educationlearning models and modellingmodel-based curriculummodels and modellingteacher education for models and modellingteaching models and modelling

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EducationUniversity of ReadingReadingU.K.