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Teaching the movability of coordinate systems: Discovering disciplinary affordances
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of the Western Cape. (Physics Education Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9866-9065
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Stockholm University. (Physics Education Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3244-2586
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. (Physics Education Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9185-628X
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy. (Physics Education Research)
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2017 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When students are introduced to coordinate systems in their physics textbooks these are usually oriented in the same manner (x increases to the right). There is a real danger then, that students see coordinate systems as fixed. However, as we know, movability is one of the main disciplinary affordances of coordinate systems. Students worked with an open-ended task to find the direction of Earth’s magnetic field. This was achieved by manipulating a measurement device (IOLab) so as to maximize the signal for one component of the field, whilst at the same time keeping the other two components at zero. In the process of completing this task, students came to experience themselves as holding a movable coordinate system. From this point they spontaneously offer elaborations about the usefulness of purposefully setting up coordinate systems for problem solving. In our terms, they have discovered one of the disciplinary affordances of coordinate systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
movability, coordinate systems, disciplinary affordances
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-339408OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-339408DiVA, id: diva2:1177698
Conference
American Association of Physics Teachers Physics Education 2017 Summer Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04113
Note

References

[1] Redish, E. F., & Kuo, E. (2015). Language of physics, language of math: Disciplinary culture and dynamic epistemology. Science & Education, 24(5-6), 561-590.

[2] Christensen, W. M., & Thompson, J. R. (2012). Investigating graphical representations of slope and derivative without a physics context. Physical Review Special Topics-Physics Education Research, 8(2), 023101.

[3] Baldry, A., & Thibault, P. J. (2006). Multimodal transcription and text analysis: A multimodal toolkit and coursebook with associated on-line course. Equinox.

[4] Bezemer, J., & Mavers, D. (2011). Multimodal transcription as academic practice: a social semiotic perspective. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 14(3), 191-206.

[5] 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.

[6] Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2017). Social semiotics in university physics education. In Multiple Representations in Physics Education (pp. 95-122). Springer, Cham.

[7] Lemke, J. L. (1998, October). Teaching all the languages of science: Words, symbols, images, and actions. In Conference on Science Education in Barcelona. http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/education/jlemke/papers/barcelon.htm

[8] McDermott, L. C. (1991). A view from physics. M. Gardner, J. Greeno, F. Reif, AH Schoenfeld, A. diSessa, and E. Stage (Eds.), Toward a scientific practice of science education, 3-30.

[9] Kohl, P. B., & Finkelstein, N. D. (2005). Student representational competence and self-assessment when solving physics problems. Physical Review Special Topics-Physics Education Research, 1(1), 010104.

[10] Kohl, P., & Finkelstein, N. (2006, February). Student representational competence and the role of instructional environment in introductory physics. In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 818, No. 1, pp. 93-96). AIP.

[11] 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.

[12] Airey, J. (2009). Science, language, and literacy: Case studies of learning in Swedish university physics (Doctoral dissertation, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis).

[13] 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(3), 657.

Within the social semiotic framing described here, 'disciplinary affordance' refers to the agreed meaning making functions that a representation or semiotic resource fulfils for a particular disciplinary community.

[14] Airey, J. (2015). Social Semiotics in Higher Education: Examples from teaching and learning in undergraduate physics. In Concorde Hotel/National Institute of Education, Singapore, 3-5 November 2015 (p. 103). Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research in Higher Education (STINT).

‘Pedagogical affordance’ reflects the usefulness of a semiotic resource for teaching some particular educational content. See also Ref. [6].

[15] Selen, M. (2013, April). Pedagogy meets Technology: Optimizing Labs in Large Enrollment Introductory Courses. In APS April Meeting Abstracts. http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR13/Event/192073

[16] Roychoudhury, A., & Roth, W. M. (1996). Interactions in an open‐inquiry physics laboratory. International Journal of Science Education, 18(4), 423-445.

Available from: 2018-01-25 Created: 2018-01-25 Last updated: 2018-03-05

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Airey, JohnGregorcic, BorHeijkenskjöld, FilipLinder, Cedric

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