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The Concept of Affordance in the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Science
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. (Physics Education Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3244-2586
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Concept of Affordance in Teaching and Learning Undergraduate Science 

 

John Airey 

Physics Education Research Group

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Uppsala University

Sweden

 

And   

 

Department of Mathematics and Science Education

Stockholm University

Sweden

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). 

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. 

References

Airey, J. (2006). Physics Students' Experiences of the Disciplinary Discourse Encountered in Lectures in English and Swedish.   Licentiate Thesis. Uppsala, Sweden: Department of Physics, Uppsala University., 

Airey J. (2009). Science, Language and Literacy. Case Studies of Learning in Swedish University Physics. ActaUniversitatis  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. (2014) resresentationsin Undergraduate Physics. Docent lecture,ÅngströmLaboratory, 9th June 2014 From   http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226598

Airey, J. (2015). Social Semiotics in Higher Education: Examples from teaching and learning in undergraduate physics In: SACF   Singapore-Sweden Excellence Seminars, Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research in Higher   Education (STINT) , 2015 (pp. 103). urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-266049. 

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. (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. (2017) Social Semiotics in Physics Education : Multiple Representations in Physics Education   Springer 

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"The5th International 360   conference: Encompassing the multimodality of knowledge. City: Aarhus University: Aarhus, Denmark, pp. 20.

Eriksson, U. (2015) Reading the Sky: From Starspotsto Spotting Stars Uppsala:ActaUniversitatisUpsaliensis.

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. 36055002. 

Fredlund, T. & Linder, C., & Airey, J. (2015c). A social semiotic approach to identifying critical aspects. International Journal for   Lesson and Learning Studies2015 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.

Linder, C. (2013). Disciplinary discourse, representation, and appresentationin the teaching and learning of science. European  Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1(2), 43-49.

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/

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
2018.
Keywords [en]
Disciplinary affordance, Pedagogical affordance, Unpacking, Undergraduate science, social semiotics
National Category
Other Physics Topics Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-354663OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-354663DiVA, id: diva2:1222140
Conference
International Science Education Conference (ISEC) 2018. 21 June 2018 National Institute of Education, Singapore
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04113Available from: 2018-06-21 Created: 2018-06-21 Last updated: 2018-06-21Bibliographically approved

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