Learning to use scientific concepts

July 1st, 2008 | RESEARCH

In responding to the research on conceptual change, this article attempts to make two points. First, scientific concepts are not possessed by individuals; rather, they are part of a culture’s resources, which individuals learn to use for their own or for group purposes. Second, particular concepts are most effectively mastered when the learner is deeply engaged in solving a problem for which they function as effective semiotic tools in achieving a solution. On these grounds, it is argued that the mastering of scientific concepts is best achieved through learning to use them in motivated inquiry.


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Team Members

Gordon Wells, Author, University of California, Santa Cruz


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1007/s11422-008-9100-6
Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 1871-1502

Publication: Cultural Studies of Science Education
Volume: 3
Number: 2
Page(s): 329

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Audience: Educators | Teachers | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Nature of science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Informal | Formal Connections | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Public Programs