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Search results for: Mitchel Resnick
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Children's Misconceptions as Barriers to Learning Stock-and-Flow Modeling
Author(s): Oren Zuckerman, & Mitchel Resnick Subject: Research
  Research has shown that people have difficulties understanding dynamic behavior. In an attempt to better understand the nature of these difficulties, we have developed a new modeling tool and conducted an exploratory study with young children. The modeling tool, called System Blocks, is a set of communicating plastic boxes with embedded computation that facilitates hands-on modeling and simulation of stock & flow structures. In the study, 5th grade students were asked to perform several assignments with System Blocks, dealing with concepts such as rates, accumulation, net-flow, and positive feedback. Our initial findings suggest there are common patterns in the way children think about dynamic behavior, which might account for some of the difficulties children as well as adults have when faced with dynamic behavior in general and stock & flow models in particular. These patterns include a tendency to prefer: quantity over process (stock over flow), sequential processes over simultaneous processes, and inflow over outflow.
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