Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


College of Education, Department of Teacher Education

First Advisor

Eunmi Lee, PhD

Second Advisor

Eva Patrikakou, PhD

Third Advisor

Susan Fischer, PhD


The purpose of this study was to examine the understandings and uses of models and modeling by pre-service secondary science teachers. Models and modeling are described at length within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as being useful components of an effective science curriculum and have been analyzed in the literature. However, much of this research lacks real-world examples and usable techniques for instructors, creating misunderstandings about models and modeling. This work incorporates relevant literature as well as participant interviews in an effort to clarify these terms. Results of this study demonstrate a limited understanding of the use of models and modeling as shown by an overwhelming preference for only physical representations. It is clear that a gap has begun to form between the established standards and actual teacher practice.

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