The article by Linn, Clarke and Slotta (2002) WISE Design for Knowledge integration discusses a Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE). “WISE integrates modern technologies to create flexibly adaptive materials that bend, not break when customized to support new school contexts and state standards. We align professional development, knowledge integration, and flexibly adaptive curricula to build on the commitments and talents of teachers as well as the constraints and opportunities of their classroom contexts rather than imposing new practices without concern for past successes (e.g. Corcoran, Shields, & Zucker, 1998; NSTA, 1996, 2001) (p. 518).”
The WISE framework incorporates the use of scaffolded knowledge integration (SKI) to accomplish the following goals: 1) make thinking visible, 2) make science accessible, 3) students learn from each other, and 4) promote lifelong learning.
I chose to adapt the WISE module Hanging With Friends (ID: 4) This project helps students integrate verbal, animated, and algebraic representations of velocity. Students interact with 3 dynamic models that help students relate velocity, position, and time. Students apply this knowledge to solve a real-world problem (Module Description).
This project was slated for grades 6-8, having taught all the grades in this range I felt that I needed to adapt the introduction of the unit. The WISE version immediately jumps in with having students try to define or explain the difference between speed and velocity. In my experience students, would not be able to do this without prior information and while they could make an educated guess the second activity does not address any misconceptions the students may have. (Most staff members I asked to explain the difference faltered).
My adaptations included the introduction of videos that explain motion and velocity at a grade 6-8 students level. These included Bill Nye the Science Guy, Dr. Skateboard and Physics Motion Lessons in a straight line. I then included an activity where students could change their definitions of speed and velocity (addressing any misconceptions they may have had). After these introductory lesson changes, I then included a try it yourself activity where students (in partners) used stop watches and measured distances to solve the equations.
My final adaptation to the WISE unit was to create a final culminating activity that would have students use stop watches and measured distances (outdoors) to look at the concepts when someone is walking, running, on a bike and on a skateboard. Once the calculations have been made students could graph their findings using the GAFE’s. Once they have done the calculations and created the graph the final step would be for them to video record themselves explaining their process, their results and what they can conclude from the experiment as well as how they could apply this in a new situation.
This final activity incorporates the TPACK framework of Mishra and Koehler (2006), the scaffolding of information (SKI) as well as the co-operative effect of students working in pairs and discussing their findings and questions. [This is noted as an important pedagogical technique by Gobert, Snyder and Houghten (2002) they state as educators we need to “Make science accessible for all students where accessibility has two meanings: to engage students in problems that they find personally relevant, and to engage students at an appropriate level of analysis and explanation, rather than load them down with abstract scientific models of phenomena which do not readily connect with students’ ideas (p. 2).”]
I could see using many of the WISE projects with the grade six to eight population. Many of the modules I looked at were self-directed enough and novel enough to allow students to investigate without much prior knowledge. I think the grade 6-8 students would also enjoy some of the human-interest modules like Make a Better Cancer Medicine, Who Inherits Cystic Fibrosis and Ocean Bottom Trawling.
Gobert, J., Snyder, J., & Houghton, C. (2002, April). The influence of students’ understanding of models on model-based reasoning. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, Louisiana. This is a conference paper. Retrieved conference paper Saturday, October 29, 2013 from: http://mtv.concord.org/publications/epistimology_paper.pdf
Linn, M., Clark, D., & Slotta, J. (2003). Wise design for knowledge integration. Science Education, 87(4), 517-538.
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. The Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054