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Teaching referents and the warrants used to test the viability of students' mental models: Is there a link?

Ritchie, S.M., Tobin, K. and Hook, K.S. (1997) Teaching referents and the warrants used to test the viability of students' mental models: Is there a link? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34 (3). pp. 223-238.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1098-2736(199703)3...
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Abstract

From a constructivist perspective, learners construct viable knowledge rather than acquire representations of truth. The warrants of authority, coherence, and empirical evidence are identified as means by which the viability of knowledge claims can be established by learners. In this interpretive study, we examined which warrants were invoked by Grade 8 science classroom participants in their daily interactions, and whether these were linked to particular teaching referents. We found that when the teacher embraced a content exposure referent at the expense of constructivism, the warrant of authority dominated interactions. The students' alternative conceptions and mental models were not explored appropriately. Instead, students most frequently were expected to accept the voice of authority uncritically. By such actions students were restrained from meaningful learning.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/21342
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