Learning Frameworks Overview
Modeling and forming explanations are two critical ways that scientists build knowledge and then test, critique, and revise that knowledge. They are tools that scientists use to help them make sense of the world, and field-based scientists are no exception. When learners engage in field-based science, they can use the models and explanations they construct based on data and evidence to help them engage in ethical deliberation and decision-making about socio-ecological phenomena and the complex socio-ecological systems of which they are a part.
Explanation in field-based science education
Technical accounts are overwhelmingly privileged in science education, but this forecloses the other types of explanations that learners are practiced at constructing and that have deep explanatory power in their lives. No matter the type of explanation, it is important to recognize that: (a) explanations are contextual, meaning that the type of explanation that is appropriate in any given situation depends on what type of activity is taking place, where, why, who is involved, and where power resides in the context, and (b) like all human discourse, practices, and interactions, explanations are cultural, powered, and have histories.