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Abstract Title: Inventing-with-Contrasting-Cases: An instructional method that improves students' uptake of big ideas
Abstract: Inventing-with-Contrasting-Cases (ICC) is an instructional method that helps students perceive critical deep structures underlying problems.  This poster delineates three essential ingredients of ICC.  First, the instruction must focus on a deep structure or "big idea" that runs through many areas of physics.  In the examples of ICC we provide, ratio is the big idea.  An understanding of proportional reasoning is necessary for learning many physical concepts such as density, speed, and acceleration.  A second element of ICC is that students "invent" or generate a single representation that captures the big idea.  This representation could take the form of a formula, theory, or graph.  Third, optimal contrasting cases support invention.  Contrasting cases are examples of phenomena that are designed to highlight critical deep features through contrast.  These three design points are illustrated with instructional and empirical examples in the domain of proportional reasoning.
Abstract Type: Targeted Poster
Targeted Session: Proportional Reasoning in Physics: What are students thinking? How can we help?

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Catherine C. Chase
Stanford University, School of Education
and Co-Presenter(s)
Daniel L. Schwartz, Stanford University, School of Education