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Abstract Title: A Comparison of Two Instructional Models Using Contrasting Cases
Abstract: Inventing a general explanation for contrasting cases is an effective learning strategy (Schwartz, Chase, Oppezzo, & Chin, 2011).  Inventing activities implicitly ask students to compare and contrast cases.  Is compare and contrast alone enough?  Over 4 class periods, 6th grade students learned about horizontal projectile motion through Compare and Contrast (CC) instruction or Invention (INV) activities using identical contrasting cases generated by a Physics Education Technology (PhET) computer simulation. Results showed that the INV treatment led to superior learning outcomes over the CC condition.  Worksheet analyses revealed that CC students mainly focused on single factor features, whereas the inventing directive led students to focus on finding an overall explanation. As a result, the INV students were more likely to give deeper structure accounts of the features that could explain all the contrasting cases.  Comparing and contrasting is necessary for induction but not sufficient for finding deep structure in physics.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nicole R. Hallinen
Stanford University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Min Chi, Ilsa Dohmen, Jonathan T. Shemwell, Doris B. Chin, Catherine C. Chase, Daniel L. Schwartz (Stanford University)