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Semiotic Resources and Disciplinary Literacy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. (Physics Education Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3244-2586
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Semiotic Resources and Disciplinary Literacy

Project leader: John Airey, Reader in Physics Education Research, Uppsala University

Type of funding: Four-year position as Research Assistant

Contact details: john.airey@physics.uu.se

 

Abstract

In this research project we focused on the different semiotic resources used in physics (e.g. graphs, diagrams, language, mathematics, apparatus, etc.). We were interested in the ways in which undergraduate physics students learn to combine the different resources used in physics in order to become “disciplinary literate” and what university lecturers do to help their students in this process. Comparative data on the disciplinary literacy goals of physics lecturers for their students was collected at five universities in South Africa and four universities in Sweden.

One of the main contributions of the project concerned what we termed the disciplinary affordance of a semiotic resource, that is, the specific meaning-making functions a particular resource plays for the discipline. We contrasted these meaning-making functions with the way that students initially viewed the same resource.

We proposed two ways that lecturers can direct their students’ attention towards the disciplinary affordances of a given resource. The first involves unpacking the disciplinary affordance in order to create a new resource with higher pedagogical affordance. Our second proposal involved the use of systematic variation in order to help students notice the disciplinary relevant aspects of a given resource. A total of 19 articles/book chapters were published as a direct result of this funding.

Selected publications

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

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

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Introducing the Anatomy of Disciplinary Discernment An example for Astronomy. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(3), 167-182. 

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

Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2015). Enhancing the possibilities for learning: variation of disciplinary-relevant aspects in physics representations. European Journal of Physics. 36, (5), 055001.

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

Fredlund, T., Linder, C. Airey, J., & Linder, A.  (2014) Unpacking physics representations: Towards an appreciation of disciplinary affordance. Physical Review: Special Topics Physics Education Research 10, 020129

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.

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

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, 2017.
Keyword [en]
Undergraduate physics Semiotic resources, Disciplinary literacy, Disciplinary affordance, Pedagogical affordance
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education; Physics with specialization in Physics Education; Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335283OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335283DiVA: diva2:1162097
Conference
VR Resultatdialog 23-24 nov. 2017 Aula Magna Stockholms Universitet
Projects
VR projekt 2010-05780
Available from: 2017-12-03 Created: 2017-12-03 Last updated: 2017-12-03

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