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Multiple representation in learning about evaporation

journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2009, 00:00 authored by Vaughan PrainVaughan Prain, Russell TytlerRussell Tytler, S Peterson
There has been extensive research on children's understanding of evaporation, but representational issues entailed in this understanding have not been investigated in depth. This study explored three students' engagement with science concepts relating to evaporation through various representational modes, such as diagrams, verbal accounts, gestures, and captioned drawings. This engagement entailed students (a) clarifying their thinking through exploring representational resources; (b) developing understanding of what these representations signify; and (c) learning how to construct representational aspects of scientific explanation. The study involved a sequence of classroom lessons on evaporation and structured interviews with nine children, and found that a focus on representational challenges provided fresh insights into the conceptual task involved in learning science. The findings suggest that teacher-mediated negotiation of representational issues as students construct different modal accounts can support enriched learning by enabling both (a) richer conceptual understanding by students; and (b) enhanced teacher insights into students' thinking.

History

Journal

International journal of science education

Volume

31

Issue

6

Pagination

787 - 808

Publisher

London, England

Location

Taylor & Francis

ISSN

0950-0693

eISSN

1464-5289

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, Taylor & Francis