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Disciplinary Affordance vs Pedagogical Affordance: Teaching the Multimodal Discourse of University Science
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Stockholm University, Sweden. (Physics Education Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3244-2586
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Disciplinary Affordance vs Pedagogical Affordance: Teaching the

Multimodal Discourse of University Science

The natural sciences have been extremely successful in modeling some specific aspects

of the world around us. This success is in no small part due to the creation of generally

accepted, paradigmatic ways of representing the world through a range of semiotic

resources. The discourse of science is of necessity multimodal (see for example Lemke,

1998) and it is therefore important for undergraduate science students to learn to

master this multimodal discourse (Airey & Linder, 2009). In this paper, I approach the

teaching of multimodal science discourse via the concept of affordance.

Since its introduction by Gibson (1979) the concept of affordance has been debated by a

number of researchers. Most famous, perhaps is the disagreement between Gibson and

Norman (1988) about whether affordances are inherent properties of objects or are

only present when perceived by an organism. More recently, affordance has been

drawn on in the educational arena, particularly with respect to multimodality (see

Fredlund, 2015 for a recent example). Here, Kress et al (2001) have claimed that

different modes have different specialized affordances.

In the presentation the interrelated concepts of disciplinary affordance and pedagogical

affordance will be presented. Both concepts make a radical break with the views of both

Gibson and Norman in that rather than focusing on the perception of an individual, they

refer to the disciplinary community as a whole. Disciplinary affordance is "the agreed

meaning making functions that a semiotic resource fulfills for a disciplinary community".

Similarly, pedagogical affordance is "the aptness of a semiotic resource for the teaching

and learning of some particular educational content" (Airey, 2015). As such, in a

teaching situation the question of whether these affordances are inherent or perceived

becomes moot. Rather, the issue is the process through which students come to use

semiotic resources in a way that is accepted within the discipline. In this characterization

then, learning can be framed in terms of coming to perceive and leverage the

disciplinary affordances of semiotic resources.

In this paper, I will discuss: the disciplinary affordances of individual semiotic resources,

how these affordances can be made “visible” to students and how the disciplinary

affordances of semiotic resources are ultimately leveraged and coordinated in order to

make science meanings.

References:

Airey J. (2009). Science, Language and Literacy. Case Studies of Learning in Swedish University Physics. Acta Universitatis   Upsaliensis. Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 81. Uppsala  Retrieved 2009-04-27, from   http://publications.uu.se/theses/abstract.xsql?dbid=9547

Airey, J. (2011b). The Disciplinary Literacy Discussion Matrix: A Heuristic Tool for Initiating Collaboration in Higher Education.   Across the disciplines, 8(3), unpaginated.  Retrieved from http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/clil/airey.cfm

Airey, J. (2013). Disciplinary Literacy. In E. Lundqvist, L. Östman, & R. Säljö (Eds.), Scientific literacy – teori och praktik (pp. 41-58): Gleerups.

Airey, J. (2014) Representations in Undergraduate Physics. Docent lecture, Ångström Laboratory, 9th June 2014 From   http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226598

Airey, J. (2016). Undergraduate Teaching with Multiple Semiotic Resources: Disciplinary Affordance vs Pedagogical Affordance.   Paper presented at 8icom. University of Cape Town, Cape Town.

Airey, J., & Eriksson, U. (2014). A semiotic analysis of the disciplinary affordances of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram in   astronomy. Paper presented at the The 5th International 360 conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge,   Aarhus, Denmark.

Airey, J., Eriksson, U., Fredlund, T., and Linder, C. (2014). "The concept of disciplinary affordance "The 5th International 360   conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge. City: Aarhus University: Aarhus, Denmark, pp. 20.

Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2009). "A disciplinary discourse perspective on university science learning: Achieving fluency in a critical   constellation of modes." Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 27-49.

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2015) Social Semiotics in Physics Education: Leveraging critical constellations of disciplinary representations   ESERA 2015 From http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn%3Anbn%3Ase%3Auu%3Adiva-260209

Airey, J. & Linder, C. (2017) Social Semiotics in University Physics Education: Multiple Representations in Physics Education   Springer. pp 85-122

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Who needs 3D when the Universe is flat? Science Education, 98(3),   412-442.

Eriksson, U., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Redfors, A. (2014). Introducing the anatomy of disciplinary discernment: an example from   astronomy. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(3), 167‐182.

Fredlund 2015 Using a Social Semiotic Perspective to Inform the Teaching and Learning of Physics. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2012). Exploring the role of physics representations: an illustrative example from students   sharing knowledge about refraction. European Journal of Physics, 33, 657-666.

Fredlund, T, Airey, J, & Linder, C. (2015a). Enhancing the possibilities for learning: Variation of disciplinary-relevant aspects in   physics representations. European Journal of Physics.

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015b). Towards addressing transient learning challenges in undergraduate physics: an   example from electrostatics. European Journal of Physics. 36 055002.

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015c). A social semiotic approach to identifying critical aspects. International Journal for   Lesson and Learning Studies 2015 4:3 , 302-316.

Fredlund, T., Linder, C., Airey, J., & Linder, A. (2014). Unpacking physics representations: Towards an appreciation of disciplinary   affordance. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 10(020128).

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The theory of affordances The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (pp. 127-143). Boston: Houghton   Miffin.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as a social semiotic. London: Arnold.

Hodge, R. & Kress, G. (1988). Social Semiotics. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Linder, A., Airey, J., Mayaba, N., & Webb, P. (2014). Fostering Disciplinary Literacy? South African Physics Lecturers’ Educational Responses to their Students’ Lack of Representational Competence. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 18(3), 242-252. doi:10.1080/10288457.2014.953294

Lo, M. L. (2012). Variation theory and the improvement of teaching and learning (Vol. 323). Gothenburg: Göteborgs Universitet.

Marton, F. (2015). Necessary conditions of learning. New York: Routledge.

Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Norman, D. A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.

Mavers, D. Glossary of multimodal terms  Retrieved 6 May, 2014, from http://multimodalityglossary.wordpress.com/affordance/

Thibault, P. (1991). Social semiotics as praxis. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

van Leeuwen, T. (2005). Introducing social semiotics. London: Routledge.

Wu, H-K, & Puntambekar, S. (2012). Pedagogical Affordances of Multiple External Representations in Scientific Processes. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21(6), 754-767.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Auckland, 2017.
Keywords [en]
Disciplinary affordance, Pedagogical affordance, Undergraduate physics
National Category
Didactics Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335891OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335891DiVA, id: diva2:1164085
Conference
New Zealand Discourse Conference
Available from: 2017-12-09 Created: 2017-12-09 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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