Van Lehn
introduces many helpful models that could be used to model Zika, but what I
found most interesting about his approach in teaching modeling is that he
focused on scaffolding a lot. I think this is very beneficial for students that
may not be familiar with how to compose models of complex systems.

As far as
modeling Zika, the constraint system model would definitely work. Constraint
systems predict the possible states of the behavior of a system. This model can
predict how the whole system is affected if there is a change in a single
variable. Zika
is all about behaviors and predicting how the rest of the population is
impacted If just one mosquito picks the virus up. There are several variables
that could change the path of virus such as areas with a lot of standing water,
or even weather, that can change the amount of mosquitoes that then might
eventually be able to predict the spread of Zika.

Agent-based
models, for modeling the emergent behavior of systems, would be helpful for
modeling Zika too. Programming all of the variables of the system into a
program such as Starlogo Nova is a useful modeling tool because students are
able to physically see how the changes they input affect the whole system.

Qualitative
model construction as scaffolding is a really great idea for students when
first starting out with complex modeling systems. This idea suggests that students
should be required to do concept mapping before doing quantitative model
construction. I think this is really important. This reminded me of Hestenes,
when he stressed, “one cannot discover what one cannot conceive.” The concept
of really understanding the material before completing complex tasks with the
material is essential to true understanding.

I like your final tie-in to Hestenes. However, I think we can introduce and have students plan their models in other ways beyond concept mapping, like those the article describes in the beginning.

ReplyDeleteThis comment has been removed by the author.

ReplyDelete