Abstract: The discursive interaction both with teacher and fellow students plays an important role for each student’s construction of knowledge. The teacher’s understanding of the students’ mental models is essential for the outcome of this interaction. This paper discusses epistemological aspects of using students’ verbal explanations as measure of mental models. A framework of different types of knowledge – typical for informatics – is outlined and used to analyse high school students' understanding of data modelling concepts like keys and queries. Learning is seen as an interaction between skills and understanding. The students in this study displayed good practical knowledge about the different concepts. However, there were indications to lack of theoretical understanding. Both the methodological and the epistemological conclusions of this paper may prove useful in future research as well as in teaching practises.
PPIG 2000 - 12th Annual Workshop
A framework for knowledge: Analysing high school students’ understanding of data modelling