You are here:

Explaining Behavior through Observational Investigation and Theory Articulation


Journal of the Learning Sciences Volume 14, Number 3, ISSN 1050-8406


Conducting observational investigations of behaviors and processes is an important method for generating scientific knowledge. This article describes a methodology for assisting students in the processes of observational inquiry and theory articulation and its instantiation in a set of digital video tools. We describe a high school biology curriculum where students use these tools to investigate video clips of animal behavior and develop theories about how and why these behaviors evolved. We focus our discussion on an investigation model that scaffolds students through the processes of observing and explaining video as data and the computational and curricular supports that were designed to make these processes explicit. We conclude with a presentation of preliminary results to illustrate the types of explanations that emerged from working with the software and curriculum and a discussion of issues that emerged during the course of the research.


Smith, B.K. & Reiser, B.J. (2005). Explaining Behavior through Observational Investigation and Theory Articulation. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14(3), 315-360. Retrieved August 24, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on April 18, 2013. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact