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A Review of Modeling Pedagogies: Pedagogical Functions, Discursive Acts, and Technology in Modeling Instruction

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EJMSTE Volume 11, Number 1, ISSN 1305-8223


The current review examined modeling literature in top science education journals to better understand the pedagogical functions of modeling instruction reported over the last decade. Additionally, the review sought to understand the extent to which different modeling pedagogies were employed, the discursive acts that were identified as important, and the technology leveraged in the pursuit of engaging students in developing and using models. After narrowing from 783 articles originally identified with an abstract keyword search, the literature review included a database of 81 research articles whose abstracts revealed a focus on modeling as an instructional intervention and contained learner modeling. A multistage process was then completed whereby each article was read and information from the articles were identified and discussed among a group of five researchers. The most salient findings identified in the research included (a) conceptual understanding was the most common pedagogical function identified for modeling, while developing facility and understanding of science practices was identified least often, (b) "Expressive modeling" was the most frequently used and sequences which connected "Exploratory" and "Experimental modeling" were the most frequently observed combination of modeling pedagogies, (c) the most important discursive acts identified as important were scientific reasoning, explanation, and peer-to-peer collaborative/cooperative learning, and (d) technology was used in approximately one-half of the research reviewed, with "Expressive" and "Exploratory" modeling pedagogies found most often supported or mediated by technology.


Campbell, T., Oh, P.S., Maughn, M., Kiriazis, N. & Zuwallack, R. (2015). A Review of Modeling Pedagogies: Pedagogical Functions, Discursive Acts, and Technology in Modeling Instruction. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 11(1), 159-176. Retrieved May 11, 2021 from .

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