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Learn More about Modeling Instruction

in continuation of the work reported at


This page serves as a portal to various components of Modeling Instruction. The approach to reform of curriculum design and teaching methodology has been guided by a Modeling Theory of Physics Instruction, the focus of educational research by David Hestenes and collaborators since 1980. Implementation through Modeling Workshops for high school teachers was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation from 1989 to 2005. The documented success of workshops and the enthusiastic response of teachers has stimulated institutionalization and expansion of the program through increased involvement of university physics departments.

Modeling Instruction in High School Physics, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Biology

Modeling Instruction

Modeling Instruction in Physics was designated in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the seven best K-12 educational technology programs out of 134 programs evaluated.

Modeling Instruction in Physics was designated in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Education as one of two exemplary programs in K-12 Science Education out of 27 programs evaluated.

Modeling Instruction is Effective (data: 1 page)

NSF report: Findings of the ASU Summer Graduate Program for Physics Teachers (2002-2006) pdf

NSF report: Findings of the Modeling Workshop Project: 1994-2000. pdf

Opportunities for Professional Growth

The National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) emphasize that “coherent and integrated programs” supporting “lifelong professional development” of science teachers are essential for significant reform. “The conventional view of professional development for teachers needs to shift from technical training for specific skills to opportunities for intellectual professional growth.”
The Glenn Commission report Before It’s Too Late states:

“We are of one mind in our belief that the way to interest children in mathematics and science is through teachers who are not only enthusiastic about their subjects, but who are also steeped in their disciplines and who have the professional training—as teachers—to teach those subjects well. Nor is this teacher training simply a matter of preparation; it depends just as much—or even more—on sustained, high-quality professional development.”

The following programs are designed to meet this need:

ASU Summer Graduate Program for Teachers of the Physical Sciences
Professional development courses and Modeling Workshops for teachers of high school physics and chemistry and junior high physical science. Course list for summer 2012 (updated May 10, 2012)

Modeling Instruction Workshops Nationwide for Summer 2012 (updated May 10, 2012)

American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA), a 501(c)(3) professional organization of modelers. How to join; application form; classroom resources contributed by teachers who use Modeling Instruction; workshop webpages.

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