The key to enhancing psychology students’ depth of scientific understanding
Developing a Teaching Curriculum that Enhances Psychology Students’ Scientific Understanding through Engagement in Explanatory Modeling Activities
GLN Consulting offers a variety of services organized around the use of engagement in explanatory modeling activities to help students achieve a deeper understanding of the scientific study of psychological phenomena. Explanatory modeling is a form of model-based reasoning that involves the use of causal knowledge to construct explanations of phenomena, derive hypotheses from these explanations, and compare these hypotheses to relevant empirical evidence. We work with psychology teachers to help them develop a teaching curriculum that integrates student engagement in these activities with teaching methods and instructional resources in ways that enhance students’ scientific understanding in core topics (e.g. learning, development, neuroscience).
Why use explanatory modeling tasks and activities
Students can achieve greater depth of scientific understanding by engaging in activities that enhance their proficiency in using model-based reasoning strategies and their knowledge of relations of causal dependency to construct explanations and to use these explanations to derive and test hypotheses. Scientific explanations enhance understanding of phenomena by specifying causal dependencies that connect them to antecedent conditions within specified sets of background conditions. Scientists can use knowledge of these relations to reason about the occurrence and manifestations of these phenomena across time and space. The use of models makes these reasoning processes cognitively tractable by highlighting relevant causal relations and displaying their significance for the goals of researchers.