Conceptual Change When Learning Experimental Design

Authored by: Stephanie Siler , David Klahr , Bryan J. Matlen

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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As indicated by the other chapters in this volume, there are important cross-domain commonalities in conceptual change processes. However, some processes of conceptual change are specific to the domain in which those concepts are situated. In this chapter we describe several processes that support changes in how children think about a small, but essential, domain-general part of middle-school science instruction: the design of simple experiments (typically dubbed the “control of variables strategy” or “CVS”). Experimental design may be an interesting topic for conceptual change researchers because there are not only conceptual but also many procedural aspects involved in its mastery.

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