Modal Representations and their Role in the Learning Process: A Theoretical and Pragmatic Analysis

Author/s: Murat Gunel, Funda Yesildag-Hasancebi

DOI: 10.12738/estp.2016.1.0054 

Year: 2016 Vol: 16 Number: 1

Abstract

In the construction and sharing of scientific knowledge, modal representations such as text, graphics, pictures, and mathematical expressions are commonly used. Due to the increasing importance of their role in the production and communication of science, modal representations have become a topic of growing interest in science education research in recent years. Resulting from this research are indications that students who can mentally identify modal representations, understand their function in communication, and make transitions between different representation modes learn scientific concepts more easily and permanently. Furthermore, when modal representations are integrated into writing-to-learn activities, they serve as an alternative method of teaching and measurement of assessment for teachers as well as a learning tool that activates students’ cognitive abilities. In this study, the concept of representation, the framework of which has not yet been clearly established in the related literature in Turkey, and the characteristics of modal representations have been addressed together. Furthermore, their role in science education and writing-tolearn activities has been explored by considering their theoretical and pragmatic dimensions.

Keywords
Modal representations, Science Education, Writing-to-learn, Multi-media learning, Science teaching

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