In Michael R. Matthews (ed.), International Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching. Springer. pp. 1171-1202 (2014)

Ronald Giere
University of Minnesota
The central aim of science is to make sense of the world. To move forward as a community endeavor, sense-making must be systematic and focused. The question then is how do scientists actually experience the sense-making process? In this chapter we examine the “practice turn” in science studies and in particular how as a result of this turn scholars have come to realize that models are the “functional unit” of scientific thought and form the center of the reasoning/sense-making process. This chapter will explore a context-dependent view of models and modeling in science. From this analysis we present a framework for delineating the different aspects of model-based reasoning and describe how this view can be useful in educational settings. This framework highlights how modeling supports and focuses scientific practice on sense-making.
Keywords Model-based reasoning  Science Education  Philosophy of Science
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