The Benefits of Implementing Models


Target Objective


Explain/characterize by writing a definition and giving examples of models as a teaching/instructional tool

Unit Objectives

  • Identify the benefits of implementing models
  • Explain why the models presented were effective


Models are essential to learning, thus, they are commonly included in instruction. This is especially true in the fields of science and mathematics; for, both subjects require students to study relatively abstract ideas and analogies help students gain knowledge and understanding of such topics.

Models are so important that both the National Science Education Standards and the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics include models as part of their national standards. (Gilbert and Ireton, 2003) Furthermore, analogies often appear in many peer-reviewed practitioner journals in the science and math field, for example, ‘The Science Teacher’, ‘Mathematics Teacher’, ‘Science Scope’, and ‘Practical Uses of Math and Sciences’ regularly prints articles on the significance of models and examples of analogies that can be used in the classroom.



Read the following about models. All of these articles discuss models in the math and science classrooms, including proper techniques to implement a model and why models should be used in the classroom. While reading try to identify the purposes and benefits of models.

This is the introduction to Arthur Few's Paper titled, "Modeling in the Classroom-Hands-on System's Learning."

This website discusses the purpose of models, and briefly touches on some of the benefits of implements models, and the necessary steps for implementation.

  • Media:File.Petrosino.pdf Commentary: A Framework for Supporting Learning and Teaching About Mathematics and Scientific Models

The first two pages, the abstract and a systematic approach for teaching with analogies, of Teaching with Analogies: A Case Study of Grade-10 Optics, explain the benifits of models. The rest of the article is a case study where a model was implemented into a 10th grade science class.

A Comparative Analysis of Analogies in Secondary Biology and Chemistry Textbooks Used in :Australian Schools. You only need to read the first two pages, which is the abstract.


Now that you have learned more about what a model is, please take a few minutes to answer the following questions. Use the discussion area to exchange ideas about models with other participants.

  • Why does we use models as an instructional tool?
  • What does the reseach say about models?

References and Resources

  • Bogiages, C., & Hitt, A.A. (2008). Movie mitosis: students make stop-animation films to illustrate the process of mitosis. The Science Teacher, 36-43.
  • Brock, D. (2009). Working model hearts: Building artificial hearts to learn about circulatory system physiology. The Science Teacher, 36-40.
  • Harrison, A.G., & Treagust, D.F. (1993). Teaching with analogies: A case study in grade-10 optics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 30(10), 1291-1307.
  • Petrosino, A. (2003). Commentary: A framework for supporting learning and teaching about mathematical and scientific models. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 3(3), 288-299.
  • Thiele, R.B., Venville, G.J., & Treagust, D.F. (1995). A comparative analysis of analogies in secondary biology and chemistry textbooks used in Australian schools. Research in Science Education, 25(2), 221-230.


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