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ERIC Number: EJ861394
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
Heterogeneous Performances of Conceptual Dis/continuity: A Dialectic Reading of Brown and Kloser's Article
Hwang, SungWon; Kim, Mijung
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v4 n4 p899-911 Dec 2009
We review Brown and Kloser's article, "Conceptual continuity and the science of baseball: using informal science literacy to promote students science learning" from a Vygotskian cultural-historical and dialectic perspective. Brown and Kloser interpret interview data with student baseball players and claim that students' conceptual understanding articulated in vernacular genres involves continuities (similarities) with the canonical scientific explanations. In this commentary, we suggest that the authors' approach presupposes the dichotomy of the formal and the informal, which brings the authors' attention to continuity into the separation of cognition from language. We propose a Vygotskian approach that points out the problem of theorizing cognition (conceptual understanding) by depending on specific forms of representation (e.g., scientific terms). As alternative, we envision a Vygotskian cultural-historical approach to language, which considers different, irreducible modes of communication as an integrated whole and therefore allows theorizing cognition without dichotomizing it from the concrete ways by which human being communicates. We provide an exemplary analysis of a lecture talk in a university physics classroom and exemplify dialectic theories that explain the development of conceptual understanding. We discuss that this Vygotskian dialectic approach shows that people communicate scientific concepts through "hybridization," which does not reproduce a genre self-identically; the continuity of conceptual understanding involves dis/continuity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A