Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bryan Lin Hestenes Article

Many of the 8 NGSS practices are reflected in the Hestenes article, especially as Hestenes heavily emphasizes the use of models in teaching scientific concepts. Hestenes also agrees with the NGSS that students should be taught how to think scientifically rather than simply memorize facts, stating "The great majority of such students can state Newton's laws [of motion]...[but] they cannot consistently apply the laws correctly" (Hestenes, p. 742). He further states that teachers should be moderators of discussion rather than sources of information. Hestenes rejects positivism and advocates for constructivistic epistemology, which proposes that "physical concepts are free creations of the human mind" and "meaning is constructed and matching with experience" (Hestenes, p. 735), supporting the first NGSS practice of Asking Questions and Defining Problems.

One NGSS practice that Hestenes fails to address completely is Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking. Hestenes, as a theoretical physicist, quite obviously support the use of mathematics as a tool in exploring the world, claiming that Newton's greatest achievement would not have been possible without his understanding of mathematics. However, Hestenes fails to address the possible adoption of computers as a powerful tool for developing a scientific mindset. While PCs such as the IBM 5150 and the original Apple Macintosh existed during the time of publication, they came with quite a hefty price tag. The lack of easy access to computers, especially for students, no doubt contributed to Hestenes' failure to address the potential for computers in science education.

No comments:

Post a Comment