Changing representations to learn primary science concepts

Waldrip, Bruce and Prain, Vaughan (2006) Changing representations to learn primary science concepts. Teaching Science: The Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association , 52 (4). pp. 17-21. ISSN 1449-6313


There is growing recognition that students need to understand and link different representational modes, such as graphic, numerical and verbal modes, in learning to think and act scientifically. Our paper reports on an exploratory study that aimed to investigate how students (years 4-6) responded to the challenge of engaging with, and learning how to interpret, multiple representations of the same science concepts. The findings, based on a case study approach employing qualitative methods, indicated that while teachers used various modes to engage students and assess learning, students often struggled to integrate concepts across modes, or understand the purpose of this translation work. There were various factors that affected students' understanding of concepts across modes, and the purpose of this modal focus. Our paper concludes with some implications for classroom practices in focusing on students' cross-modal learning.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author version not held.
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: 30 Mar 2010 10:26
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: teaching science; cross-modal learning; learning concepts
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes

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