Does a Focus on Modeling and Explanation of Molecular Interactions 
Impact Student Learning and Identity?

April 23, 2017


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Randi McGee-Tekula

The Learning Partnership

Jennifer Duck

The Learning Partnership

The Interactions curriculum and professional development program is designed to support high school teachers in their transition to the physical science Next Generation Science Standards. Through curriculum materials, an online portal for delivering the digital materials, interactive models of molecular phenomena, and educative teacher guide, teachers are able to support students in bridging the gap between macroscopic and sub-microscopic ideas in physical science by focusing on a modeling and explanation-oriented exploration of attractions and energy changes at the atomic level. During the fall semester of the 2015-16 school year, The Learning Partnership conducted a field test of Interactions with eleven teachers who implemented the curriculum across a diverse set of school districts. As part of the field test, The Learning Partnership examined the impact of teachers’ inquiry-based teaching practices on student learning and identification with the scientific enterprise. The results indicate that students had statistically significant growth in learning from the beginning to end of unit 2 and that the extent to which teachers engaged students in inquiry had a positive statistically significant influence on the growth rate and a statistically significant indirect impact on students’ identification with the scientific enterprise.


Suggested Citation

McGee, S., McGee-Tekula, R., & Duck, J. (2017, April 22-25). Does a Focus on Modeling and Explanation of Molecular Interactions Impact Student Learning and Identity? [Paper presentation] National Association of Researchers of Science Teaching, San Antonio, TX.

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