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Airey, J. (2018). A Social Semiotic Approach to Teaching and Learning Science. In: : . Paper presented at Plenary Speaker, Research day, Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Stockholm University. Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Social Semiotic Approach to Teaching and Learning Science
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A social semiotic approach to teaching and learning science.

In this presentation I will discuss the application of social semiotics to the teaching and learning of university science. Science disciplines leverage a wide range of semiotic resources such as graphs, diagrams, mathematical representations, hands on work with apparatus, language, gestures etc. In my work I study how students learn to integrate these resources to do physics and what teachers can do to help them in this process. Over the years, a number of theoretical constructs have been developed within the Physics Education Research Group in Uppsala to help us to better understand the different roles semiotic resources play in learning university physics. In this presentation I will explain some of these terms and give examples of their usefulness for teasing out how learning is taking place.

References

Airey, J. (2006). Physics Students' Experiences of the Disciplinary Discourse Encountered in Lectures in English and Swedish. Licentiate Thesis. Uppsala, Sweden: Department of Physics, Uppsala University., 

Airey J. (2009). Science, Language and Literacy. Case Studies of Learning in Swedish University Physics. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 81. Uppsala  Retrieved 2009-04-27, from             http://publications.uu.se/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=9547

Airey, J. (2014) resresentations in Undergraduate Physics. Docent lecture, Ångström Laboratory, 9th June 2014 From http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226598

Airey, J. (2015). Social Semiotics in Higher Education: Examples from teaching and learning in undergraduate physics In: SACF  Singapore-Sweden Excellence Seminars, Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research in Higher Education (STINT) , 2015 (pp. 103). urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-266049. 

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2015) Social Semiotics in Physics Education: Leveraging critical constellations of disciplinary representations ESERA 2015 From http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn%3Anbn%3Ase%3Auu%3Adiva-260209

Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2009). "A disciplinary discourse perspective on university science learning: Achieving fluency in a critical constellation of modes." Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 27-49.

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2017) Social Semiotics in Physics Education : Multiple Representations in Physics Education Springer 

Airey, J., & Eriksson, U. (2014). A semiotic analysis of the disciplinary affordances of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in astronomy. Paper presented at the The 5th International 360 conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge, Aarhus, Denmark. 

Airey, J., Eriksson, U., Fredlund, T., and Linder, C. (2014). "The concept of disciplinary affordance"The 5th International 360  conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge. City: Aarhus University: Aarhus, Denmark, pp. 20.

Eriksson, U. (2015) Reading the Sky: From Starspots to Spotting Stars Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat? Science Education, 98(3), 412-442. 

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Introducing the anatomy of disciplinary discernment: an example from astronomy.European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(3), 167‐182. 

Fredlund 2015 Using a Social Semiotic Perspective to Inform the Teaching and Learning of Physics. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an illustrative example from students sharing knowledge about refraction. European Journal of Physics, 33, 657-666.

Fredlund, T, Airey, J, & Linder, C. (2015a). Enhancing the possibilities for learning: Variation of disciplinary-relevant aspects in physics representations. European Journal of Physics

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015b). Towards addressing transient learning challenges in undergraduate physics: an example from electrostatics. European Journal of Physics. 36055002. 

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015c). A social semiotic approach to identifying critical aspects. International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies2015 4:3 , 302-316 

Fredlund, T., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Linder, A. (2014). Unpacking physics representations: Towards an appreciation of disciplinary affordance. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 10(020128). 

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The theory of affordances The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception(pp. 127-143). Boston: Houghton Miffin.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as a social semiotic. London: Arnold.

Linder, C. (2013). Disciplinary discourse, representation, and appresentation in the teaching and learning of science. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1(2), 43-49.

Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Norman, D. A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

Mavers, D. Glossary of multimodal terms  Retrieved 6 May, 2014, from http://multimodalityglossary.wordpress.com/affordance/

van Leeuwen, T. (2005). Introducing social semiotics. London: Routledge. 

Wu, H-K, & Puntambekar, S. (2012). Pedagogical Affordances of Multiple External Representations in Scientific Processes. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21(6), 754-767.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: , 2018
Keywords
Social Semiotics, Disciplinary affordance, Pedagogical affordance, Critical constellations, Disciplinary discernment
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353457 (URN)
Conference
Plenary Speaker, Research day, Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Stockholm University
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 2016-04113
Available from: 2018-06-13 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved
Airey, J. (2018). Building on higher education research - How can we take a scholarly approach to teaching and learning. In: : . Paper presented at Stockholms universitets lärarkonferens 2018 — universitetslärare i en föränderlig värld. Aula Magna, Stockholms University, Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building on higher education research - How can we take a scholarly approach to teaching and learning
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aula Magna, Stockholms University, Stockholm: , 2018
Keywords
SoTL, university teaching, Scholarship
National Category
Didactics Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-343425 (URN)
Conference
Stockholms universitets lärarkonferens 2018 — universitetslärare i en föränderlig värld
Available from: 2018-02-27 Created: 2018-02-27 Last updated: 2018-03-01Bibliographically approved
Volkwyn, T., Airey, J., Gregorcic, B. & Heijkenskjöld, F. (2018). Multimodal Transduction in Upper-secondary School Physics. In: : . Paper presented at International Science Education Conference (ISEC) 2018. 21 June 2018 National Institute of Education, Singapore.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multimodal Transduction in Upper-secondary School Physics
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study we video-filmed upper-secondary physics students working with a laboratory task designed to encourage transduction (Bezemer & Kress 2008) when learning about coordinate systems.

 

Students worked in pairs with an electronic measurement device to determine the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. The device, IOLab, can be held in the hand and moved around. The results of this movement are graphically displayed on a computer screen as changes in the x, y and z components of the Earth’s magnetic field. The students were simply instructed to use the IOLab to find the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field and mark its direction using a red paper arrow.

 

A full multimodal transcription of the student interaction was made (Baldry & Thibault 2006). In our analysis of this transcription, three separate transductions of meaning were identified—transduction of meaning potential in the room to the computer screen, transduction of this meaning to the red arrow, and finally transduction into student gestures. We suggest that this final transduction could not have been made without the introduction of the arrow, which functioned as a coordinating hub (Fredlund et al 2012).

 

We recommend that teachers should carefully think about the resources in a task that may function as a coordinating hub and should also look for student transductions in their classrooms as confirmation that learning is taking place.

 

References

Ainsworth, S. (2006). DeFT: A conceptual framework for considering learning with multiple representations. Learning and Instruction, 16(3), 183-198.

Airey, J. (2009). Science, language, and literacy: Case studies of learning in Swedish university physics (Doctoral dissertation, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis). http://publications.uu.se/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=9547 

Airey, J. (2015). Social Semiotics in Higher Education: Examples from teaching and learning in undergraduate physics In: SACF Singapore-Sweden Excellence Seminars, (STINT) , 2015 (pp. 103). urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-266049.

Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2009). A disciplinary discourse perspective on university science learning: Achieving fluency in a critical constellation of           modes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 27-49.

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2015) Social Semiotics in Physics Education: Leveraging critical constellations of disciplinary representations ESERA          2015 From http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn%3Anbn%3Ase%3Auu%3Adiva-260209

Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2017). Social Semiotics in University Physics Education. In D. F. Treagust, R. Duit, & H. E. Fischer (Eds.), Multiple Representations in Physics Education (pp. 95-122). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Baldry, A., & Thibault, P. J. (2006). Multimodal Transcription and Text Analysis. London: Equinox Publishing.

Bezemer, J., & Kress, G. (2008). Writing in multimodal texts: a social semiotic account of designs for learning. Written Communication, 25(2),           166-195.

Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an illustrative example from students sharing knowledge about refraction. European Journal of Physics, 33, 657-666.

Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge.

Lemke, J. L. (1998). Teaching all the languages of science: Words, symbols, images, and actions. In Conference on Science Education in Barcelona.

Selen, M. (2013). Pedagogy meets Technology: Optimizing Labs in Large Enrollment Introductory Courses. Bulletin of the American Physical      Society58. http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR13/Session/C7.3

Volkwyn, T., Airey, J., Gregorčič, B., & Heijkenskjöld, F. (2016). Multimodal transduction in secondary school physics 8th International Conference on Multimodality, 7th-9th December 2016. Cape Town, South Africa. Retrieved from http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-316982.

Volkwyn, T., Airey, J., Gregorčič, B., Heijkenskjöld, F., & Linder, C. (2018). Physics students learning about abstract mathematical tools when engaging with “invisible” phenomena. PERC proceedings 2018 https://www.compadre.org/per/perc/proceedings.cfm.

Volkwyn, T., Airey, J., Gregorčič, B., & Heijkenskjöld, F. (submitted). Learning Science through Transduction: Multimodal disciplinary meaning-making in the physics laboratory. Designs for Learning.

Wu, H-K, & Puntambekar, S. (2012). Pedagogical Affordances of Multiple External Representations in Scientific Processes. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21(6), 754-767.

Keywords
disciplinary affordance, pedagogical affordance, magnetic field, meaning potential, semiotic resource, multimodal, transduction, coordinating hub
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-354706 (URN)
Conference
International Science Education Conference (ISEC) 2018. 21 June 2018 National Institute of Education, Singapore
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04113
Available from: 2018-06-21 Created: 2018-06-21 Last updated: 2018-06-28Bibliographically approved
de Winter, J. & Airey, J. (2018). The views of pre-service physics teachers on the role of mathematics in the teaching and learning of physics. In: : . Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference, August 1, 2018 - August 2, 2018 in Washington D.C..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The views of pre-service physics teachers on the role of mathematics in the teaching and learning of physics
2018 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Mathematics is commonly seen as playing a fundamental role in the understanding of undergraduate physics. However, this role poses challenges for teaching physics at lower levels. In England, increased formal assessment of mathematical skills in national physics examinations has made many teachers (re)consider this issue and their classroom practice.This qualitative study explores how English physics teachers view the physics/mathematics relationship. Our data consists of questionnaires and follow up interviews with an entire cohort of pre-service teachers training at an English university (n=13). Analysis included a line of enquiry on the tension between the value of mathematics in undergraduate physics and its value for teaching physics at school level.There was considerable variation across respondents, some seeing mathematics as integral to understanding school physics, whilst others prioritised conceptual understanding over mathematical formalism. Many noted how their views had changed during training, raising questions for those involved in physics teacher preparation.

National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357311 (URN)
Conference
Physics Education Research Conference, August 1, 2018 - August 2, 2018 in Washington D.C.
Available from: 2018-08-14 Created: 2018-08-14 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved
Airey, J. (2017). CLIL: Combining Language and Content. ESP Today, 5(2), 297-302
Open this publication in new window or tab >>CLIL: Combining Language and Content
2017 (English)In: ESP Today, ISSN 2334-9050, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 297-302Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keywords
Review, ESP, CLIL
National Category
Specific Languages Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335576 (URN)10.18485/esptoday.2017.5.2.9 (DOI)
Note

Review of: Tarja Nikula, Emma Dafouz, Pat Moore and Ute Smit (Eds.). CONCEPTUALISING INTEGRATION IN CLIL AND MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION (2016), Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Available from: 2017-12-07 Created: 2017-12-07 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Airey, J. (2017). Disciplinary Affordance vs Pedagogical Affordance: Teaching the Multimodal Discourse of University Science. In: : . Paper presented at New Zealand Discourse Conference. Auckland
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disciplinary Affordance vs Pedagogical Affordance: Teaching the Multimodal Discourse of University Science
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Disciplinary Affordance vs Pedagogical Affordance: Teaching the

Multimodal Discourse of University Science

The natural sciences have been extremely successful in modeling some specific aspects

of the world around us. This success is in no small part due to the creation of generally

accepted, paradigmatic ways of representing the world through a range of semiotic

resources. The discourse of science is of necessity multimodal (see for example Lemke,

1998) and it is therefore important for undergraduate science students to learn to

master this multimodal discourse (Airey & Linder, 2009). In this paper, I approach the

teaching of multimodal science discourse via the concept of affordance.

Since its introduction by Gibson (1979) the concept of affordance has been debated by a

number of researchers. Most famous, perhaps is the disagreement between Gibson and

Norman (1988) about whether affordances are inherent properties of objects or are

only present when perceived by an organism. More recently, affordance has been

drawn on in the educational arena, particularly with respect to multimodality (see

Fredlund, 2015 for a recent example). Here, Kress et al (2001) have claimed that

different modes have different specialized affordances.

In the presentation the interrelated concepts of disciplinary affordance and pedagogical

affordance will be presented. Both concepts make a radical break with the views of both

Gibson and Norman in that rather than focusing on the perception of an individual, they

refer to the disciplinary community as a whole. Disciplinary affordance is "the agreed

meaning making functions that a semiotic resource fulfills for a disciplinary community".

Similarly, pedagogical affordance is "the aptness of a semiotic resource for the teaching

and learning of some particular educational content" (Airey, 2015). As such, in a

teaching situation the question of whether these affordances are inherent or perceived

becomes moot. Rather, the issue is the process through which students come to use

semiotic resources in a way that is accepted within the discipline. In this characterization

then, learning can be framed in terms of coming to perceive and leverage the

disciplinary affordances of semiotic resources.

In this paper, I will discuss: the disciplinary affordances of individual semiotic resources,

how these affordances can be made “visible” to students and how the disciplinary

affordances of semiotic resources are ultimately leveraged and coordinated in order to

make science meanings.

References:

Airey J. (2009). Science, Language and Literacy. Case Studies of Learning in Swedish University Physics. Acta Universitatis   Upsaliensis. Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 81. Uppsala  Retrieved 2009-04-27, from   http://publications.uu.se/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=9547

Airey, J. (2011b). The Disciplinary Literacy Discussion Matrix: A Heuristic Tool for Initiating Collaboration in Higher Education.   Across the disciplines, 8(3), unpaginated.  Retrieved from http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/clil/airey.cfm

Airey, J. (2013). Disciplinary Literacy. In E. Lundqvist, L. Östman, & R. Säljö (Eds.), Scientific literacy – teori och praktik (pp. 41-58): Gleerups.

Airey, J. (2014) Representations in Undergraduate Physics. Docent lecture, Ångström Laboratory, 9th June 2014 From   http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226598

Airey, J. (2016). Undergraduate Teaching with Multiple Semiotic Resources: Disciplinary Affordance vs Pedagogical Affordance.   Paper presented at 8icom. University of Cape Town, Cape Town.

Airey, J., & Eriksson, U. (2014). A semiotic analysis of the disciplinary affordances of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in   astronomy. Paper presented at the The 5th International 360 conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge,   Aarhus, Denmark.

Airey, J., Eriksson, U., Fredlund, T., and Linder, C. (2014). "The concept of disciplinary affordance "The 5th International 360   conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge. City: Aarhus University: Aarhus, Denmark, pp. 20.

Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2009). "A disciplinary discourse perspective on university science learning: Achieving fluency in a critical   constellation of modes." Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 27-49.

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2015) Social Semiotics in Physics Education: Leveraging critical constellations of disciplinary representations   ESERA 2015 From http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn%3Anbn%3Ase%3Auu%3Adiva-260209

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2017) Social Semiotics in University Physics Education: Multiple Representations in Physics Education   Springer. pp 85-122

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat? Science Education, 98(3),   412-442.

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Introducing the anatomy of disciplinary discernment: an example from   astronomy. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(3), 167‐182.

Fredlund 2015 Using a Social Semiotic Perspective to Inform the Teaching and Learning of Physics. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an illustrative example from students   sharing knowledge about refraction. European Journal of Physics, 33, 657-666.

Fredlund, T, Airey, J, & Linder, C. (2015a). Enhancing the possibilities for learning: Variation of disciplinary-relevant aspects in   physics representations. European Journal of Physics.

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015b). Towards addressing transient learning challenges in undergraduate physics: an   example from electrostatics. European Journal of Physics. 36 055002.

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015c). A social semiotic approach to identifying critical aspects. International Journal for   Lesson and Learning Studies 2015 4:3 , 302-316.

Fredlund, T., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Linder, A. (2014). Unpacking physics representations: Towards an appreciation of disciplinary   affordance. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 10(020128).

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The theory of affordances The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (pp. 127-143). Boston: Houghton   Miffin.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as a social semiotic. London: Arnold.

Hodge, R. & Kress, G. (1988). Social Semiotics. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Linder, A., Airey, J., Mayaba, N., & Webb, P. (2014). Fostering Disciplinary Literacy? South African Physics Lecturers’ Educational Responses to their Students’ Lack of Representational Competence. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 18(3), 242-252. doi:10.1080/10288457.2014.953294

Lo, M. L. (2012). Variation theory and the improvement of teaching and learning (Vol. 323). Gothenburg: Göteborgs Universitet.

Marton, F. (2015). Necessary conditions of learning. New York: Routledge.

Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Norman, D. A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

Mavers, D. Glossary of multimodal terms  Retrieved 6 May, 2014, from http://multimodalityglossary.wordpress.com/affordance/

Thibault, P. (1991). Social semiotics as praxis. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

van Leeuwen, T. (2005). Introducing social semiotics. London: Routledge.

Wu, H-K, & Puntambekar, S. (2012). Pedagogical Affordances of Multiple External Representations in Scientific Processes. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21(6), 754-767.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Auckland: , 2017
Keywords
Disciplinary affordance, Pedagogical affordance, Undergraduate physics
National Category
Didactics Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335891 (URN)
Conference
New Zealand Discourse Conference
Available from: 2017-12-09 Created: 2017-12-09 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
Larsson, J. & Airey, J. (2017). Four discourse models of physics teacher education. In: : . Paper presented at 6th New Zealand Discourse Conference, 6-9 December 2017 (pp. 1-37). Auckland
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Four discourse models of physics teacher education
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, as in many other countries, the education of high-school physics teachers is typically carried out in three different environments; the education department, the physics department and school itself during teaching practice. Trainee physics teachers are in the process of building their professional identity as they move between these three environments. Although much has been written about teacher professional identity (see overview in Beijaard, Meijer, & Verloop, 2004) little is known about how encounters with the potentially disparate notions of “what counts” in these three environments feed into trainee physics teachers’ professional identity work.

In this paper we try to capture the different ways the educational practice of teacher education is valued in the discourse of teacher educators. We use the concept of discourse models (Gee, 2005). Our research questions are as follows:

1. What is signalled as valued (and not valued) by members of the three environments physics teachers meet during their training (school, education department, physics department)?

2.What discourse models can be identified from these value statements? 


We carried out semi-structured interviews with instructors from the three environments. Our analysis involved iterative coding of the interview transcripts (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992) to construct discourse models. We identify four competing discourse models and discuss the ways in which these models can be seen to be at work, dictating how educational practice is valued.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Auckland: , 2017
Keywords
Discourse models, Teacher training, Physics teaching, identity performances
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335892 (URN)
Conference
6th New Zealand Discourse Conference, 6-9 December 2017
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-01891
Available from: 2017-12-09 Created: 2017-12-09 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
Larsson, J., Airey, J. & Lundqvist, E. (2017). How does the culture of physics affect physics teacher education?. In: : . Paper presented at ESERA 2017 Conference Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland 21st - 25th August 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How does the culture of physics affect physics teacher education?
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we ask how the culture of physics may affect physics teacher education. Our interest is motivated by the pessimistic description of the status of physics teacher education in the US reported by the Task Force on Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP) (2012). We present the results of an empirical study that examines the culture of physics in Sweden. The main finding is what we call the physics expert model. This was the dominant framing that physicists and physics teachers used in our interviews to talk about physics teacher education. The goal of the physics expert model is to create future physicists, something that is clearly at odds with the purpose of physics teacher education (which is to create future physics teachers). We discuss the implications of the dominance of the physics expert model and suggest that our results offer an important explanatory interpretation of the chronic problems of physics teacher training described in the T-TEP report.

Keywords
Teacher Preparation, Physics, Culture, Lärarutbildning, Fysik, Kultur
National Category
Other Physics Topics Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333761 (URN)
Conference
ESERA 2017 Conference Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland 21st - 25th August 2017
Available from: 2017-11-16 Created: 2017-11-16 Last updated: 2017-11-17Bibliographically approved
Airey, J., Larsson, J. & Linder, A. (2017). Investigating Undergraduate Physics Lecturers’ Disciplinary Literacy Goals For Their Students. In: : . Paper presented at 12th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA 2017) DCU Dublin 21-25 Aug. 2017. Dublin: ESERA
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating Undergraduate Physics Lecturers’ Disciplinary Literacy Goals For Their Students
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Investigating Undergraduate Physics Lecturers’ disciplinary literacy Goals for their students.

Abstract

 In this presentation we use the concept of disciplinary literacy (Airey, 2011a; 2013) to analyse the expressed learning goals of university physics lecturers for their students. We define disciplinary literacy in terms of learning to control a particular set of multimodal communicative practices. We believe it is important to document the expressed intentions of lecturers in this way, since it has previously been suggested that the development of such disciplinary literacy may be seen as one of the primary goals of university studies (Airey, 2011a).

The main data set used in this presentation comes from a comparative study of 30 physics lecturers from Sweden and South Africa. (Airey, 2012, 2013; Linder et al, 2014). Semi-structured interviews were carried out using a disciplinary literacy discussion matrix (Airey, 2011b), which enabled us to probe the lecturers’ disciplinary literacy goals in the various semiotic resource systems used in undergraduate physics (e.g. graphs, diagrams, mathematics, spoken and written languages, etc.).

The findings suggest that physics lecturers in both countries have strikingly similar disciplinary literacy goals for their students and hold similar beliefs about disciplinary semiotic resources. The lecturers also agree that teaching disciplinary literacy ought not to be their job. Here though, there were differences in whether the lecturers teach students to handle disciplinary-specific semiotic resources. These differences appear to be based on individual decisions, rather than being specific to a particular country or institution.

Keywords: Higher education, Scientific literacy, Representations.

Introduction: disciplinary literacy

In this presentation we examine the notion of disciplinary literacy in university physics (see Airey, 2011a, 2011b, 2013 and the extensive overview in Moje, 2007). Drawing on the work of Gee (1991), Airey (2001a) has broadened the definition of literacy to include semiotic resource systems other than language, defining disciplinary literacy as:

The ability to appropriately participate in the communicative practices of a discipline.

He goes on to suggest that the development of disciplinary literacy may be seen as one of the primary goals of university studies. In this study we use this disciplinary literacy concept to compare and problematize the goals of undergraduate physics lecturers in Sweden and South Africa.

Research questions

Our research questions for this study are:

  1. What do physics lecturers at universities in Sweden and South Africa say about disciplinary literacy in terms of the range of semiotic resources they want their students to learn to master?
  2. To what extent do these physics lecturers say that they themselves take responsibility for the development of this disciplinary literacy in their students?

Data Collection

The data set used for this presentation is taken from a comparative research project where 30 university physics lecturers from a total of nine universities in Sweden (4) and South Africa (5) described the disciplinary literacy goals they have for their students (Airey, 2012, 2013; Linder et al, 2014). A disciplinary literacy discussion matrix (Airey, 2011b) was used as the basis for in-depth, semi-structured interviews.

These were conducted in English and lasted approximately 60 minutes each. In the interviews the lecturers were encouraged to talk about the semiotic resources they think their students need to learn to control.

Analysis

The analysis drew on ideas from the phenomenographic research tradition by treating the interview transcripts as a single data set or “pool of meaning” (Marton & Booth, 1997: 133). The aim was to understand the expressed disciplinary literacy goals of the physics lecturers interviewed. Following the approach to qualitative data analysis advocated by Bogdan and Biklen (1992), iterative cycles were made through the data looking for patterns and key statements. Each cycle resulted in loosely labeled categories that were often split up, renamed or amalgamated in the next iteration. More background and details of the approach used can be found in Airey (2012).

Results and Discussion

Analysis of the 30 interviews resulted in the identification of four themes with respect to the lecturers’ disciplinary literacy goals:

  1. Teaching physics is not the same thing as developing students’ disciplinary literacy.

All the lecturers expressed a strong commitment that physics is independent of the semiotic resources used to construct it. For them, developing disciplinary literacy and teaching physics were quite separate things.

These are tools, physics is something else. Physics is more than the sum of these tools it’s the way physicists think about things—a shared reference of how to analyse things around you.

This theme challenges contemporary thinking in education and linguistics. Halliday and Martin (1993, p. 9) for example insist that communicative practices are not some sort of passive reflection of a priori disciplinary knowledge, but rather are actively engaged in bringing knowledge into being. In science education, an even more radical stance has been taken by Wickman and Östman (2002), who insist that disciplinary learning itself should be viewed as a form of discourse change.

  1. Disciplinary literacy in a range of semiotic resources is necessary for learning physics.

All the lecturers in the study felt it was desirable that students develop disciplinary literacy in a range of semiotic resources in order to cope with their studies. In many ways this finding is unremarkable, with a number of researchers having commented on the wide range of semiotic systems needed for appropriate knowledge construction and communication in physics (e.g. Airey, 2009; Lemke, 1998; McDermott, 1990; Parodi, 2012).

  1. Developing disciplinary literacy is not really the job of a physics teacher.

All physics lecturers expressed frustration at the low levels of disciplinary literacy in their students, feeling that they really should not have to work with the development of these skills, e.g.:

I cannot say that I test them or train them in English. Of course they can always come and ask me, but I don’t think that I take responsibility for training them in English

Northedge (2002) holds that the role of a university lecturer should be one of a discourse guide leading “excursions” into disciplinary discourse. However, although some lecturers actually did in fact work in this way (see category 4) the none of physics lecturers interviewed in this study felt comfortable with this role.

  1. Some teachers were prepared to take responsibility for the development of certain aspects of students’ disciplinary literacy.

Nonetheless, some physics lecturers did say that the development of students’ disciplinary literacy would be something that they would work with. In these cases, lecturers (somewhat grudgingly) took on Northedge’s (2002) role of a discourse guide. This position was most common for mathematics, which was seen as essential for an understanding of physics (see Airey, 2012. p. 75 for further discussion of this theme).

To be able to express it in a precise enough way you need mathematics. Language is more limited than mathematics in this case. So they need to use mathematics to see physics rather than language.

 

Conclusion

In this presentation we have applied the concept of disciplinary literacy to the goals of university physics lecturers. Lecturers reported their belief that disciplinary literacy in a wide range of semiotic resources is a necessary condition for physics learning. However, the same lecturers do not feel the development of this disciplinary literacy is their job. Although some lecturers were prepared to help students develop specific aspects of disciplinary literacy, all the lecturers interviewed believed that teaching physics is something that is separate from teaching disciplinary literacy. Here, Airey has argued that:

Until lecturers see their role as one of socialising students into the discourse of their discipline…[they] will continue to insist that they are not [teachers of disciplinary literacy] and that this should be a job for someone else.                                                                                                                        (Airey, 2011b, p. 50)

References

Airey, J. (2009). Science, Language and Literacy. Case Studies of Learning in Swedish University Physics. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 81. Uppsala, Sweden.: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A173193&dswid=-4725.

Airey, J. (2011a). The Disciplinary Literacy Discussion Matrix: A Heuristic Tool for Initiating Collaboration in Higher Education. Across the disciplines, 8(3), unpaginated.

Airey, J. (2011b). Initiating Collaboration in Higher Education: Disciplinary Literacy and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Dynamic content and language collaboration in higher education: theory, research, and reflections (pp. 57-65). Cape Town, South Africa: Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Airey, J. (2012). “I don’t teach language.” The linguistic attitudes of physics lecturers in Sweden. AILA Review, 25(2012), 64–79.

Airey, J. (2013). Disciplinary Literacy. In E. Lundqvist, L. Östman, & R. Säljö (Eds.), Scientific literacy – teori och praktik (pp. 41-58): Gleerups.

Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. R. (1992). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods. (2 ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.

Gee, J. P. (1991). What is literacy? In C. Mitchell & K. Weiler (Eds.), Rewriting literacy: Culture and the discourse of the other (pp. 3-11). New York: Bergin & Garvey.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Martin, J. R. (1993). Writing science: Literacy and discursive power. London: The Falmer Press.

Lemke, J. L. (1998). Teaching all the languages of science: Words, symbols, images, and actions. http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/education/jlemke/papers/barcelon.htm.

Linder, A., Airey, J., Mayaba, N., & Webb, P. (2014). Fostering Disciplinary Literacy? South African Physics Lecturers’ Educational Responses to their Students’ Lack of Representational Competence. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 18(3), 242-252. doi:10.1080/10288457.2014.953294

Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

McDermott, L. (1990). A view from physics. In M. Gardner, J. G. Greeno, F. Reif, A. H. Schoenfeld, A. A. diSessa, & E. Stage (Eds.), Toward a scientific practice of science education (pp. 3-30). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Moje, E. B. (2007). Developing Socially Just Subject-Matter Instruction: A Review of the Literature on Disciplinary Literacy Teaching. Review of Research in Education 31 (March 2007), 1–44.

Northedge, A. (2002). Organizing excursions into specialist discourse communities: A sociocultural account of university teaching. In G. Wells & G. Claxton (Eds.), Learning for life in the 21st century. Sociocultural perspectives on the future of education (pp. 252-264). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Parodi, G. (2012) University Genres and Multisemiotic Features: Accessing Specialized Knowledge Through Disciplinarity. Fórum Linguístico. 9:4, 259-282.

Wickman, P.-O., & Östman, L. (2002). Learning as discourse change: A sociocultural mechanism. Science Education, 86(5), 601-623.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dublin: ESERA, 2017
Keywords
Disciplinary Literacy, Undergraduate physics
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Elementary Particle Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335281 (URN)
Conference
12th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA 2017) DCU Dublin 21-25 Aug. 2017
Projects
VR projekt 2015-01891
Available from: 2017-12-03 Created: 2017-12-03 Last updated: 2018-01-22Bibliographically approved
Airey, J. (2017). Learning and Sharing Disciplinary Knowledge: The Role of Representations. In: : . Paper presented at REDI seminar series. Deakin Corporate Centre 1 Dec. 2017. Deakin University, Melbourne
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning and Sharing Disciplinary Knowledge: The Role of Representations
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Learning and Sharing Disciplinary Knowledge: The Role of Representations.

Abstract

In recent years there has been a large amount of interest in the roles that different representations (graphs, algebra, diagrams, sketches, physical models, gesture, etc.) play in student learning. In the literature two distinct but interrelated ways of thinking about such representations can be identified. The first tradition draws on the principles of constructivism emphasizing that students need to build knowledge for themselves. Here students are encouraged to create their own representations by working with materials of various kinds and it is in this hands-on representational process that students come to develop their understanding.

The second tradition holds that there are a number of paradigmatic ways of representing disciplinary knowledge that have been created and refined over time. These paradigmatic disciplinary representations need to be mastered in order for students to be able to both understand and effectively communicate knowledge within a given discipline.

In this session I would like to open up a discussion about how these two ways of viewing representations might be brought together. To do this I will first present some of the theoretical and empirical work we have been doing in Sweden over the last fifteen years. In particular there are three concepts that I would like to introduce for our discussion: critical constellations of representations, the disciplinary affordance of representations and the pedagogical affordance of representations.

References 

Airey, J. (2006). Physics Students' Experiences of the Disciplinary Discourse Encountered in Lectures in English and Swedish.   Licentiate Thesis. Uppsala, Sweden: Department of Physics, Uppsala University.,

Airey J. (2009). Science, Language and Literacy. Case Studies of Learning in Swedish University Physics. Acta Universitatis   Upsaliensis. Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 81. Uppsala  Retrieved 2009-04-27, from   http://publications.uu.se/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=9547

Airey, J. (2014) Representations in Undergraduate Physics. Docent lecture, Ångström Laboratory, 9th June 2014 From   http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226598

Airey, J. (2015). Social Semiotics in Higher Education: Examples from teaching and learning in undergraduate physics In: SACF   Singapore-Sweden Excellence Seminars, Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research in Higher   Education (STINT) , 2015 (pp. 103). urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-266049.

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2015) Social Semiotics in Physics Education: Leveraging critical constellations of disciplinary representations   ESERA 2015 From http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn%3Anbn%3Ase%3Auu%3Adiva-260209

Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2009). "A disciplinary discourse perspective on university science learning: Achieving fluency in a critical   constellation of modes." Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 27-49.

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2017) Social Semiotics in Physics Education : Multiple Representations in Physics Education   Springer

Airey, J., & Eriksson, U. (2014). A semiotic analysis of the disciplinary affordances of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in   astronomy. Paper presented at the The 5th International 360 conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge,   Aarhus, Denmark.

Airey, J., Eriksson, U., Fredlund, T., and Linder, C. (2014). "The concept of disciplinary affordance"The 5th International 360   conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge. City: Aarhus University: Aarhus, Denmark, pp. 20.

Eriksson, U. (2015) Reading the Sky: From Starspots to Spotting Stars Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat? Science Education, 98(3),   412-442.

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Introducing the anatomy of disciplinary discernment: an example from   astronomy. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(3), 167‐182.

Fredlund 2015 Using a Social Semiotic Perspective to Inform the Teaching and Learning of Physics. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an illustrative example from students   sharing knowledge about refraction. European Journal of Physics, 33, 657-666.

Fredlund, T, Airey, J, & Linder, C. (2015a). Enhancing the possibilities for learning: Variation of disciplinary-relevant aspects in   physics representations. European Journal of Physics.

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015b). Towards addressing transient learning challenges in undergraduate physics: an   example from electrostatics. European Journal of Physics. 36 055002.

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015c). A social semiotic approach to identifying critical aspects. International Journal for   Lesson and Learning Studies 2015 4:3 , 302-316

Fredlund, T., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Linder, A. (2014). Unpacking physics representations: Towards an appreciation of disciplinary   affordance. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 10(020128).

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The theory of affordances The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (pp. 127-143). Boston: Houghton   Miffin.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as a social semiotic. London: Arnold.

Linder, C. (2013). Disciplinary discourse, representation, and appresentation in the teaching and learning of science. European   Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1(2), 43-49.

National Research Council. (2012). Discipline Based Education Research. Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. Washington DC: The National Academies Press.

Norman, D. A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

Mavers, D. Glossary of multimodal terms  Retrieved 6 May, 2014, from http://multimodalityglossary.wordpress.com/affordance/

van Leeuwen, T. (2005). Introducing social semiotics. London: Routledge.

Wu, H-K, & Puntambekar, S. (2012). Pedagogical Affordances of Multiple External Representations in Scientific Processes. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21(6), 754-767.

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Deakin University, Melbourne: , 2017
Keywords
Representations, Critical constellations, Disciplinary affordance, Pedagogical Affordance
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335280 (URN)
Conference
REDI seminar series. Deakin Corporate Centre 1 Dec. 2017
Available from: 2017-12-03 Created: 2017-12-03 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-3244-2586

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