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ERIC Number: EJ759958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 29
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Chemical Inscriptions in Korean Textbooks: Semiotics of Macro- and Microworld
Han, Jae Young; Roth, Wolff-Michael
Science Education, v90 n2 p173-201 Mar 2006
Thinking about macroscopic phenomena in terms of models based on the idea of microscopic particles (i.e., the particulate theory of matter) is one of the important goals for student learning in chemistry around the world. However, previous research suggests that students do not easily understand phenomena from a particle perspective, although such a perspective has many concrete aspects that ought to assist learners of chemistry. More than the textbooks of other countries, Korean chemistry texts tend to include colorful inscriptions. How, we might ask, do such inscriptions help learners of chemistry? The purpose of this study is to investigate the function and structure of chemical inscriptions in middle school science textbooks by drawing on a semiotic framework. We develop the concept of "chemi (stry)-semiotics" to unveil the work of reading required to understand chemical inscriptions in the way their authors intended them to be understood. The study began with the assumption that different kinds and functions (structure) of inscriptions constitute different "signs" that are available as sense-making resources in the learning process. We show that the difficulty in understanding the particulate nature of matter may result from the different processes of semiosis (interpretation and meaning making) between inscriptions depicting macroscopic and models based on microscopic particles.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea