This study investigates strategies teachers use to support mental imagery during model-based science class discussions. A microanalysis of videos of classroom discussions was conducted in order to (1) identify and describe teaching strategies for supporting imagery; and (2) identify evidence that the students were engaging in the use of imagery as they constructed models and reasoned about competing models. This study starts from prior work on experts’ use of imagery, as well as from prior analyses of imagistic characteristics of concrete exemplars used successfully in a curriculum. Sixteen teacher support strategies for imagery are identified, along with thirteen student imagery process indicators. As the list of descriptors stabilizes, we are also identifying larger categories of descriptors—that is, structured categories of imagistic practices and categories of support. We present examples from a case study based on a transcript of a middle school discussion that served as one of the sources for our new organized set of imagery descriptors.
Stephens, L., Clement, J., Price, N., & Nunez-Oviedo, M. (2017). Identifying Teaching Strategies that Support Thinking with Imagery During Model-Based Discussions. Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), San Antonio, TX.