Figures of speech, signs of knowing: Towards a semiotic view of science conceptualization

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/288989
Title:
Figures of speech, signs of knowing: Towards a semiotic view of science conceptualization
Author:
Wizinowich, Janice Ingrid, 1951-
Issue Date:
1997
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Models for science education, rather than paralleling the process of scientific discovery, have traditionally involved the dissemination of information through texts and controlled lab experiences. These have had limited effect in the development of science concepts. Therefore, the focus of this study was to investigate alternative avenues, such as the use of narrative, for science conceptualization. Despite the potential for narrative as an avenue for science conceptualization, for the most part studies involving literature have not explored this relationship. The purpose of this study was to investigate the process of science conceptualization, with a specific focus on narrative. This was done through a fifth grade classroom based study where learning experiences were created, focused on the concept of interdependence in relationship to water. These experiences included open-ended, hands-on science experiences, literature discussion groups, self-selected research projects and the creation of narrative pieces based on those research projects. Data sources included: (a) audio and videotaped literature discussion group sessions; (b) audio and videotaped study group interviews and curricular sessions; (c) individual interviews; (d) learning log entries and reflections; and (e) student narratives. Data analysis was conducted within a semiotic theoretical framework and involved the process of retroduction. Retroduction entails a kind of spiraling dialectic between theoretical considerations and data incidences, from which are generated possible explanations. These possible explanations or abductions, provide direction for further forays into the data. The process of retroduction lends itself to the creation of data analysis chapters that highlight theoretical issues in relationship to the data or "theoretical memos". Three theoretical memos emerged from this process. Theoretical memo one explores the role of experience in conceptualization; theoretical memo two focuses on the role of analogy and narrative experiences in relationship to intertextuality in conceptualization; and theoretical memo three highlights metaphor in relationship to the intertextual process of transmediation, whereby conceptualization is symbolized through student generated narratives. Together, these memos provide some insights into aspects of the process of conceptualization that are often ignored both in "real" science as well as science instruction. The implications of the study findings are summarized in light of what is known about the discovery process, as compared to what happens in traditional science instruction.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Education, Language and Literature.; Education, Elementary.; Education, Sciences.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Language, Reading and Culture
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Short, Kathy G.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleFigures of speech, signs of knowing: Towards a semiotic view of science conceptualizationen_US
dc.creatorWizinowich, Janice Ingrid, 1951-en_US
dc.contributor.authorWizinowich, Janice Ingrid, 1951-en_US
dc.date.issued1997en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractModels for science education, rather than paralleling the process of scientific discovery, have traditionally involved the dissemination of information through texts and controlled lab experiences. These have had limited effect in the development of science concepts. Therefore, the focus of this study was to investigate alternative avenues, such as the use of narrative, for science conceptualization. Despite the potential for narrative as an avenue for science conceptualization, for the most part studies involving literature have not explored this relationship. The purpose of this study was to investigate the process of science conceptualization, with a specific focus on narrative. This was done through a fifth grade classroom based study where learning experiences were created, focused on the concept of interdependence in relationship to water. These experiences included open-ended, hands-on science experiences, literature discussion groups, self-selected research projects and the creation of narrative pieces based on those research projects. Data sources included: (a) audio and videotaped literature discussion group sessions; (b) audio and videotaped study group interviews and curricular sessions; (c) individual interviews; (d) learning log entries and reflections; and (e) student narratives. Data analysis was conducted within a semiotic theoretical framework and involved the process of retroduction. Retroduction entails a kind of spiraling dialectic between theoretical considerations and data incidences, from which are generated possible explanations. These possible explanations or abductions, provide direction for further forays into the data. The process of retroduction lends itself to the creation of data analysis chapters that highlight theoretical issues in relationship to the data or "theoretical memos". Three theoretical memos emerged from this process. Theoretical memo one explores the role of experience in conceptualization; theoretical memo two focuses on the role of analogy and narrative experiences in relationship to intertextuality in conceptualization; and theoretical memo three highlights metaphor in relationship to the intertextual process of transmediation, whereby conceptualization is symbolized through student generated narratives. Together, these memos provide some insights into aspects of the process of conceptualization that are often ignored both in "real" science as well as science instruction. The implications of the study findings are summarized in light of what is known about the discovery process, as compared to what happens in traditional science instruction.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Language and Literature.en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Elementary.en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Sciences.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading and Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorShort, Kathy G.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest9729473en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b34802022en_US
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