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Natural Selection: Introduction to the Nature of Explanatory Models
This information is designed to connect what students have learned about scientific arguments to the role and nature of explanatory models in science. They will be asked to read and discuss a brief handout about scientific models and their function in science. They will discover that models are ideas that scientists use to explain patterns they see in the natural world, a model is an idea that has predictive and explanatory power and is consistent with other ideas about how the world works, and that models can be compared based on data, the inferences made in the model, and the prior knowledge and beliefs upon which they are based. This site includes instructional notes for the teacher and student handouts.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Guide for instructor
Subject:
  • Biology
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Paleontology
  • History and philosophy of science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 2002 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-648
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison