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Title page for ETD etd-03142013-172105

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Ero-Tolliver, Isi A
Author's Email Address Isi.a.tolliver@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-03142013-172105
Title Model-Based Reasoning: A Commonality Between Scientific Investigation and Science Education
Degree PhD
Department Interdisciplinary
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Billy G. Hudson Committee Chair
Leona Schauble Committee Member
Richard Lehrer Committee Member
Richard Milner Committee Member
Virginia Shepherd Committee Member
Wonder Drake Committee Member
  • Modeling
  • Peroxidasin
  • Dimer Formation
  • Sulfilimine Bond
  • Decomposition
  • Matrix Biology
Date of Defense 2012-12-06
Availability unrestricted
This interdisciplinary project involved both biomedical research and science education research. I explored the learning opportunities and commonalities between learners in two different environments: a biomedical research laboratory and an elementary classroom. I analyzed my work as a graduate student, who performed benchside research on an enzyme called peroxidasin, and I compared the learning experience with that of elementary students who learned about the process of decomposition of organic materials. I learned that the commonality between myself and the elementary students was the practice of modeling as a form of understanding scientific phenomenon. Overall, this interdisciplinary plan of study helped me to gain a deeper understanding of biological science through formal coursework, and by conducting research in the department of medicine, and a deeper understanding of how students learn science as a graduate research assistant in the Peabody Science Education department. Most importantly, I gained an insight about modeling as an approach for biomedical investigations and for translating knowledge of biology to elementary students. I conclude that scientists as science classroom teachers and/or a partnership between scientists and classroom teachers is needed in the modern classroom in order to create lessons, curriculum, and standards that engage the students with hands-on level that involves reading, modeling and questioning/debating, activities that are beyond that of traditional memorization and recall for descriptive test questions.

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