This science daily article focuses on students ability to learn from model experiments. They found that what students are able to learn from these model experiments depends on how similar the models are to the original substances. Students are much more likely to recognize the link between the real world scenario and the model experiment when the model substance looks more closely like the original. Students using a substance less like the original can still gain a general understanding of the concept.
This does not mean that the model substance always must look like the original as one researcher explains, “Your choice of substance depends on what you want to teach your students” – Christina Toschka. If the aim is to teach the students the general concept and not to make a connection to a specific situation a less similar substance may work better.
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