A Novel Instructional Sequence for Interactive Simulations (ISIS): Developing Conceptual Understanding in Physics Education in China within a Context of Curricular Reform
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China has implemented curricular reforms with a focus on inquiry learning in physics education. As has been the case in other countries around the world, teachers have generally supported the intentions of the curriculum in relation to inquiry pedagogy but, in the face of high stakes assessment and other issues, have struggled to implement it appropriately in classroom teaching. Interactive simulations -- computer-based 'virtual experiments' in which students can enter values and both observe and record the results -- have considerable potential for supporting teachers' use of inquiry approaches to the development of concepts in physics. This paper outlines the Chinese context of the study along with a novel instructional sequence developed and tested by the authors for the purpose of scaffolding inquiry instruction using interactive simulations. The paper describes a pilot study of the classroom use of the ISIS instructional sequence, including measurement of students' development of physics concepts, their confidence in their own understanding and their development of the skills of scientific inquiry. The sequence was found to be effective for conceptual development.
Proceedings on the 3nd International Conference of Educational Innovation through Technology
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Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy