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Mountain Model 2

Examples of Models, Explanations, Learning Partners' Critiques and Revisions for Mountain Building

In the following examples, the model on the left is the students' original model and explanation. On the bottom under "Critique" is their opposite coast learning partners' critique of the model. On the right are students' revised models and revised explanations.


In this example, the students' original model has two views: a cross section view, and a crustal layer view. Their model and explanation include no causal mechanisms in terms of what happens inside the earth when mountains are formed; thus, it is a local model (Gobert, 2000). In the critique from their learning partners', it was suggested that the students include the direction of movement of the plates. This is a high level comment in that it reflects that the reviewers knew that this information was important to the causality of the system being depicted. The critique also includes comments related to the model as a communication tool, i.e., they suggested that the students include a cross section view rather than a bird's eye view which is good comment regarding the model as a communication tool. The revised model includes the earth in cross section form with a cut away that includes information about the plates moving toward each other. In addition the students have added the mantle as a causal mechanism. Although not a significant advance from the point of view of including more detailed causal information, the revised model is a better model from a communication standpoint, as was requested by their learning partners.

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