• Reinders Duit
  • Dimitrios Stavrou
That the interplay of random and deterministic processes may result in both the limited predictability of nonlinear systems and the formation of structures seems to be a most valuable general insight into the nature of science. This study investigates the possibility of teaching and learning the interplay of chance and determinism in nonlinear systems in school science instruction. An analysis of the relevant scientific literature and an explorative learning process study with 30 11th-grade students are included. Three experiments displaying the behaviour of nonlinear systems (deterministic chaos, self-organization and fractals) and one experiment demonstrating the behaviour of linear systems were discussed using a teaching experiment design. The findings show that although the majority of students initially considered chance and determinism as contradictory conceptions, they finally developed sound explanations concerning the interplay of chance and determinism in the investigated nonlinear systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Pages (from-to)506-530
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Published online: 18 Jun 2013

    Research areas

  • Research in teaching and learning - Nonlinear systems, Interplay of chance and determinism, Learning processes, Teaching experiment

ID: 87075