This article proposes a social semiotic approach to analysing objects of learning in terms of their critical aspects.
The design for this article focuses on how the semiotic resources – including language, equations, and diagrams – that are commonly used in physics teaching realise the critical aspects of a common physics object of learning. A social semiotic approach to the analysis of a canonical text extract from optics is presented to illustrate how critical aspects can be identified.
Implications for university teaching and learning of physics stemming from this social semiotic approach are suggested.
Hitherto under-explored similarities between the Variation Theory of Learning, which underpins learning studies, and a social semiotic approach to meaning-making are identified. These similarities are used to propose a new, potentially very powerful approach to identifying critical aspects of objects of learning.
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2015. Vol. 4, no 3, 302-316 p.
Learning study, Variation Theory of Learning, social semiotics, objects of learning, disciplinary-relevant aspects, critical aspects, teaching practice, physics education