Resolving puzzling phenomena by the simple particle model: Examining thematic patterns of multimodal learning and teaching

Maurice M. W. CHENG, Kristina DANIELSSON, Mei Yi Angel LIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the roles of multimodality and thematic patterns in the teaching of the particle model of matter. Although the particle model is a fundamental topic in science education, there is no consensus on (1) whether or not the model should be introduced in early grades and (2) how to introduce the model to students for the very first time. Drawing from teacher development projects in Sweden (Grade 3) and in Hong Kong (Grade 7), we suggest that the learning and teaching of the particle model can be facilitated by utilising a variety of modes. With multimodal scaffolding, Grade 3 students were able to demonstrate aspects of the particle model related to the expansion of gases in a warmer environment. The paper illustrates teaching episodes from the two projects in terms of (i) aspects of the particle model that were constructed using different semiotic modes, (ii) shifts in the salience of different modes in the teaching and learning process, and (iii) a thematic pattern that the classroom interactions adopted to explain puzzling phenomena. For a theoretical advancement, we suggest that thematic analysis should be extended to multimodal interactions. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-87
JournalLearning: Research and Practice
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online dateAug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Citation

Cheng, M. M. W., Danielsson, K., & Lin, A. M. Y. (2020). Resolving puzzling phenomena by the simple particle model: Examining thematic patterns of multimodal learning and teaching. Learning: Research and Practice, 6(1), 70-87. https://doi.org/10.1080/23735082.2020.1750675

Keywords

  • Multimodality
  • Thematic pattern
  • Particle model of matter
  • Social semiotics
  • Multiple representations

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