The following publications contain a comparison of Modeling to traditional STEM instruction.

[Note: often the comparison is in the SAME classroom, before and after the teacher took a Modeling Workshop.] This list was compiled by Jane Jackson in May to August, 2013 and updated in February 2015. Please e-mail if you know of other publications or reports.

A. By David Hestenes and others at Arizona State University (ASU).
* Wells M, Hestenes D, Swackhamer G (1995). A modeling method for high school physics instruction. Am J Phys 63:606–619
* Hestenes, D., Wells, M., and Swackhamer, G. (1992). Force Concept Inventory, The Physics Teacher 30: 141-158. See also Halloun, I., Hake, R., Mosca, E., and Hestenes, D. Force Concept Inventory (revised 1995).

* Jackson, Jane, Dukerich, Larry, and Hestenes, David (2008). Modeling Instruction: An Effective Model for Science Education, Science Educator 17(1): 10-17. [Note: no new data.]

B. By others, not at ASU.
* Erica Posthuma-Adams (2014). How the Chemistry Modeling Curriculum Engages Students in Seven Science Practices Outlined by the College Board, Journal of Chemical Education 91 (9), pp 1284–1290. [Erica teaches at University High School of Indiana, Carmel.] [Ask your librarian.]
* Jennifer Dye, Tom Cheatham, Ginger Rowell, Angela Barlow, and Robert Carlton (2013).
The Impact of Modeling Instruction within the Inverted Curriculum on Student Achievement in Science. Electronic Journal of Science Education 17, No 2. Free.
* L. Liang, G. Fulmer, D. Majerich, R. Clevenstine, and R. Howanski (2012). The Effects of a Model-Based Physics Curriculum Program with a Physics First Approach: a Causal-Comparative Study, J Sci Educ Technol vol. 21 #1 Published online.

[Ninth-graders enrolled in the model-based program in a Physics First initiative achieved substantially greater conceptual understanding of physics content than those 11th-/12th-graders enrolled in the conventional non-modeling, non-PF program (Honors strand). For 11th-/12th-graders enrolled in the non-PF, non-honors strands, the Modeling Instruction classes also outperformed the conventional non-modeling classes. A summary is at at the bottom of the webpage.]
* O’Brien MJ, Thompson JR (2009). Effectiveness of ninth-grade physics in Maine: conceptual understanding. The Physics Teacher 47(4):234–239.
A draft is at
* Malone, K. (2006, 2007). The convergence of knowledge organization, problem-solving behavior, and metacognition research with the Modeling Method of physics instruction – Part I and II, Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online 4(1) and 4(2). Available at and
* Malone K (2008) Correlation between knowledge structures, force concept inventory, and problem-solving behaviors. Phys Rev Spec Top Phys Educ Res.
* Legleiter, Earl (2005). “Modeling: Changes in Traditional Physics”. Also Minaya, Carmela: “The View from One Classroom”. Each of these teachers wrote a chapter in the peer-reviewed book, Exemplary Science in Grades 9-12, edited by Robert Yager (NSTA Press).

* Clewell., B., et. al. (2004). Review of Evaluation Studies of Mathematics and Science Curricula and Professional Development Models. (Urban Institute study commissioned by the GE Foundation). [Note: a review of our data]
* D. Andrews, M. Oliver, and J. Vesenka (2003). Implications of Modeling Method Training on Physics Teacher Development in California’s Central Valley, J. Phys. Tchr. Educ. Online 1(4), 25.
* Expert Panel Reviews (2001, 2000): Modeling Instruction in High School Physics. (Office of Educational Research and Improvement. U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC)

PUBLICATIONS ON COLLEGE-LEVEL MODELING INSTRUCTION that include comparison with traditional instruction:

* Halloun, I. and Hestenes, D. (1987). Modeling Instruction in Mechanics, Am. J. Phys. 55: 455-462.
[Note: the modeling cycle has two phases: development and deployment. The above paper focuses on the deployment phase, as does David Pritchard’s MAPS:]
* E. Brewe (2008), Modeling theory applied: Modeling instruction in introductory physics, Am. J. Phys. 76, 1155.
* E. Brewe, L. Kramer, and G. O’Brien (2009). Modeling instruction: Positive attitudinal shifts in introductory physics measured with CLASS, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5, 013102.
* E. Brewe, V. Sawtelle, L. Kramer, G. O’Brien, I. Rodriquez, and P. Pamela (2010). Toward equity through participation in Modeling Instruction in introductory university physics, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6, 010106.
* Vesenka J, Beach P, Munoz G, Judd F, Key R (2002). A comparison between traditional and ‘‘modeling’’ approaches to undergraduate physics instruction at two universities with implications for improving physics teacher preparation. J Phys Teach Educ Online 1(1): 3–7.
[Note: the modeling cycle has two phases: development and deployment. The two papers below focus only on the deployment phase. The research was at M.I.T.]

* A. Pawl, A. Barrantes, and D. Pritchard (2009). Modeling Applied to Problem Solving. PERC 2009 Proceedings, 51-54.
* Saif Rayyan, Andrew Pawl, Analia Barrantes, Raluca E. Teodorescu, and David E. Pritchard (2010). Improved Student Performance in Electricity and Magnetism Following Prior MAPS Instruction in Mechanics, PERC 2010 Proceedings, 273-276.
* J. Vesenka, Paul Beach, Gerardo Munoz, Floyd Judd, and Roger Key, “A comparison between traditional and “modeling” approaches to undergraduate physics instruction at two universities with implication for improving physics teacher preparation.” J. Phys. Tchr. Educ. Online 1(1), 3 (2002).

with traditional instruction: URLs

* Doctoral dissertations, masters degree theses, and action research reports are at
* Numerous final reports of grants for Modeling Workshops nationwide are at
* Reports by David Hestenes are at
* Informal reports by modelers are at
* Numerous research reports on 9th grade physics using Modeling Instruction are at

that include comparison of Modeling Instruction with traditional instruction:
(Some reports compare the same teachers before & after Modeling Workshop.)

A. High school:
* Hestenes, David. (2000). Findings of the Modeling Workshop Project (1994-2000) (from Final Report submitted to the National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA).
* Wells, Malcolm (1987). Modeling Instruction in High School Physics. Doctoral dissertation, Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
[Note by David Hestenes: Malcolm’s test of Modeling Instruction is surely one of the most well-controlled and significant physics education experiments of all time. His primary treatment and control groups differed only in the pedagogy used, and the effect was large!]
* Mountz, Douglas K. (2006) The effect of science core sequence reform on students’ attitudes toward science. Doctoral dissertation, Immaculata University, Malvern, PA.
* Malone, Kathy L. (2006). A Comparative Study of the Cognitive and Metacognitive Differences between Modeling and Non-Modeling High School Physics Students. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

* Deakin, JoAnn (2006). Ninth Grade Physical Science Students’ Achievements in Math Using a Modeling Curriculum. Action research report, Department of Physics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
* Adrian Boyarsky, Russell Bray, & Mark Henrion (2009). Teaching Math Concepts Within a Science Context. Action research report, Department of Physics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
* Rose Shaw (2008). An External Evaluation Summative Report: RTOP Observations over Time. Also: Shaw, Rose (2008). An End-of-Project External Evaluation Report: Improving the Quality of Arizona Teachers of Physics, Chemistry, Physical Science and Mathematics. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
* Timothy Burgess’ research reports in 2012 to 2014 on McGill-Toolen Catholic High School’s 9th grade physics using Modeling Instruction, at
Especially those in 2012 and later, including: MTACT12.pdf Higher ACT Scores as Physics First Implemented

• Tiffanie L.Wright (2012). The effects of modeling instruction on high school physics academic achievement. D.Ed. dissertation. ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3508235. Modeling Instructional methods were found to be effective in increasing the academic achievement of students in high school physics.
• Jacqueline Barker (2012). Effect of Instructional Methodologies on Student Achievement: Modeling Instruction versus Traditional Instruction in chemistry – Jacqueline Barker (Masters degree thesis at LSU). ).
• Mark Arseneault (2014). Effects of Modeling Instruction in a High School Physics Classroom – Mark Arseneault (41-pg Masters degree thesis at LSU).

* Gonzalez, E. (2000). TIMSS Physics Achievement Comparison Study, TIMSS International Study Center, Boston College. Available at TIMSS_NSFphysicsStudy99.pdf.
[Note written in 2012 by Jane Jackson and David Hestenes: Modeling Instruction was one of six NSF-funded high school physics “reform” programs evaluated by TIMSS (Gonzalez 2000). The report documents that the reform programs greatly increase the percentage of students pursuing STEM careers. In particular, 40% of 12th grade students in reform programs intended to major in physics, math, engineering or computer information sciences in college, compared to 25% in non-reform programs (Table 15).
TIMSS scores have not been made public, but were released to the respective Principal Investigators. Consequently, we can report that the highest score was made by a Modeling class, and it is comparable to the highest score in the entire international TIMSS study. Of the six reform programs, Modeling Instruction has grown the most by far –as of 2012 to 10% of the nations’ physics teachers; and it has expanded to chemistry and physical science, and recently to biology.]

Student FCI data are in these reports (& in grant reports from other workshop sites; same URL):

* Hestenes, D. & Jackson, J. (1999-2001). Physics Modeling Workshops for School Technology Infusion. Final reports of Eisenhower grants and an Arizona Community Foundation grant.
* Shaw, Rose (2011). External Evaluation Final Project Report: Improving the Quality of Arizona Teachers of Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

B. College:
* Desbien, Dwain (2002). Modeling discourse management compared to other classroom management styles in university physics. D.Ed. dissertation, Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
* Brewe, Eric (2002). Inclusion of the energy thread in college modeling instruction. D.Ed. dissertation, Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
* Davenport, Glen (2005). Modeling-style labs in college physics. Undergraduate thesis, Department of Physics, University of Maine.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search