On Using Technology For Understanding Science


Sabelli, N. H. (1994). On Using Technology for Understanding Science. Interactive Learning Environments, 4, 195-198.


The basic structure of the precollege science curriculum is more than 100 years old, and has changed very little during the intervening years despite profound changes in the scientific enterprise itself.

The curriculum should more closely reflect contemporary thoughts on what every student should know. The current high-level efforts to develop new science and mathematics education standards portend some welcome and overdue changes. However, the uniquely valuable potential of technology for supporting science and mathematics learning is not adequately integrated into these efforts. Nor have the scientific and educational communities reflected on what could be the contemporary view of what every student should know, given technological tools available and the impact of technology on science and mathematics. We hope that the education reform process will be a continuing endeavor and that it will generate new mathematics and science curricula in closer harmony with the scientific literacy needs of citizens of an information-based society. 

As the process evolves, there will be an increasing need for research to help us understand how to use technology to achieve in education the same paradigmatic changes that technology has introduced in the practice of science, because these changes will define the workplace that students will ultimately enter. This essay calls for the science education community to consider seriously the educational implications of technology-derived fundamental changes in scientific methodologies. In particular, it seeks to inform the discussion on setting a research agenda for the introduction of computer modeling in the K-12 curriculum and shed light on the context for other articles in this special issue. 

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