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ERIC Number: EJ994703
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 51
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 107
ISSN: ISSN-1050-8406
Exploring the Use of Conceptual Metaphors in Solving Problems on Entropy
Jeppsson, Fredrik; Haglund, Jesper; Amin, Tamer G.; Stromdahl, Helge
Journal of the Learning Sciences, v22 n1 p70-120 2013
A growing body of research has examined the experiential grounding of scientific thought and the role of experiential intuitive knowledge in science learning. Meanwhile, research in cognitive linguistics has identified many "conceptual metaphors" (CMs), metaphorical mappings between abstract concepts and experiential source domains, implicit in everyday and scientific language. However, the contributions of CMs to scientific understanding and reasoning are still not clear. This study explores the roles that CMs play in scientific problem-solving through a detailed analysis of two physical chemistry PhD students solving problems on entropy. We report evidence in support of three claims: a range of CMs are used in problem-solving enabling flexible, experiential construals of abstract scientific concepts; CMs are coordinated with one another and other resources supporting the alignment of qualitative and quantitative reasoning; use of CMs grounds abstract reasoning in a "narrative" discourse incorporating conceptions of paths, agents, and movement. We conclude that CMs should be added to the set of intuitive resources others have suggested contribute to expertise in science. This proposal is consistent with two assumptions: that cognition is embodied and that internal cognitive structures and processes interact with semiotic systems. The implications of the findings for learning and instruction are discussed. (Contains 1 table, 6 figures and 9 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden