Mental Modeling in Conceptual Change

Authored by: Nancy J. Nersessian

International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change

Print publication date:  June  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415898829
eBook ISBN: 9780203154472
Adobe ISBN: 9781136578212


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The nature and processes of “conceptual change” are problems that are of considerable interest to researchers across several disciplines occupied with developing understandings of science, learners, or cognitive development. Although the problems and methods to address them have different formulations in these areas, there is a long history in each of specifying the beginning and ending states of deep conceptual changes, such as what constitutes the nature of representational changes from Newtonian mechanics to the theory of relativity, or from a “naïve” understanding of physical phenomena to a scientific understanding provided by physics or biology, or from individual early (possibly innate) representational structures to adult community representations of a wide range of phenomena, including of other humans, during processes of cognitive development.

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