Learning through constructing representations in science : a framework of representational construction affordances

Prain, Vaughan and Tytler, Russell 2012, Learning through constructing representations in science : a framework of representational construction affordances, International journal of science education, vol. 34, no. 17, pp. 2751-2773.

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Title Learning through constructing representations in science : a framework of representational construction affordances
Author(s) Prain, Vaughan
Tytler, Russell
Journal name International journal of science education
Volume number 34
Issue number 17
Start page 2751
End page 2773
Total pages 23
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon, England
Publication date 2012-11
ISSN 0950-0693
1464-5289
Keyword(s) learning
inquiry-based teaching
learning outcomes
Summary Compared with research on the role of student engagement with expert representations in learning science, investigation of the use and theoretical justification of student-generated representations to learn science is less common. In this paper, we present a framework that aims to integrate three perspectives to explain how and why representational construction supports learning in science. The first or semiotic perspective focuses on student use of particular features of symbolic and material tools to make meanings in science. The second or epistemic perspective focuses on how this representational construction relates to the broader picture of knowledge-building practices of inquiry in this disciplinary field, and the third or epistemological perspective focuses on how and what students can know through engaging in the challenge of representing causal accounts through these semiotic tools. We argue that each perspective entails productive constraints on students’ meaning-making as they construct and interpret their own representations. Our framework seeks to take into account the interplay of diverse cultural and cognitive resources students use in these meaning-making processes. We outline the basis for this framework before illustrating its explanatory value through a sequence of lessons on the topic of evaporation.
Notes Article first available online 1st Feb 2012
Language eng
Field of Research 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30042176

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Education
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