This article connects very well with our class because in addition to reading and discussing articles about scientific modeling generally in the classroom, we have been actually engaging in modeling processes ourselves. Engaging in knowledge construction is one way pre-service teachers can appreciate the value of engaging students in scientific modeling. The article highlights pedagogical resources that pre-service teachers bring to class. Interestingly, none of these “small ideas” are necessarily problematic in themselves. Instead, they can be appropriately or inappropriately applied in to teaching.
The most interesting aspect of the article highlights the discrepancy between pre-service teachers’ abilities to talk about the importance of modeling and student ideas and the actual lessons that they planned; while many of the lessons included modeling, many did not include plans for building on student ideas and incorporating them into future plans. This shows that the “apprenticeship of observation” is a much stronger influence than we think. It takes a lot of effort to plan lessons that are responsive to student ideas because these are inherently less predictable; it takes much more thoughtful planning to come up with good questions and anticipate student answers. Even if we have taken the time to anticipate student responses, we still cannot predict everything and must be comfortable with some improvising.