Using representations for teaching and learning in science

Carolan, Jim and Prain, Vaughan and Waldrip, Bruce (2008) Using representations for teaching and learning in science. Teaching Science: The Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association, 54 (1). pp. 18-23. ISSN 1449-6313


There is growing research interest in both the challenges and opportunities learners face in trying to represent scientific understanding, processes and reasoning. The challenges, including integrating verbal, visual and mathematical modes in science discourse, and making strong conceptual links between classroom experiences and diverse 3D and 2D representations, are now well understood by researchers. However, a matching enhanced pedagogy of representation-rich learning opportunities, including their theoretical justification, is much less clearly established. Our paper reports on a three-year project to identify practical and theoretical issues entailed in maximizing representational opportunities for learners to develop conceptual understandings in science. We focus here on two case studies of the topics of force and the particle theory of matter in Years 7 and 8. Analysed qualitative and quantitative data indicated that tasks that required students to re-represent emerging understandings of concepts and processes across different modes promoted strong learning gains.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author version unavailable.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2009 03:39
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: representation, primary science, science teaching
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy

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