The IQWST light unit uses diffraction gratings rather than prisms to separate light into its color components. However, it is very possible that some students may know of prisms or have used them in the past and ask why they arenít being used. The unit offers teachers several ways of dealing with this situation, each one with its advantages and disadvantages. It provides teachers with guidance about which option will work best for their students. For example, in this case, the teacher may decide to include an activity with prisms, provide a reading on prisms to those students who had prior knowledge of them, provide the same reading to the entire class, or say a few sentences about prisms and continue with the diffraction grating activity. Such guidance can be provided via educative elements within the curriculum materials (Elizabeth A. Davis & Krajcik, 2005).
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
While the designers of a curriculum cannot foresee exactly how it will be enacted, they can, based on research, predict situations that may occur during enactment. In these cases the designers can suggest alternative paths that the teacher can take, according to the particular circumstances of the enactment.
Context of Use:
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Davis, E. A., & Krajcik, J. S. (2005). Designing educative curriculum materials to promote teacher learning. Educational Researcher, 34(3), 3-14.
Kali, Y., Fortus, D., & Ronen-Fuhrmann, T. (in press). Synthesizing TELS and CCMS design knowledge. In Y. Kali, M. C. Linn & J. E. Roseman (Eds.), Designing Coherent Science Education. NY: Teachers College Press.