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ERIC Number: EJ1292818
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Feb
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
The Use of Different Translation Devices to Analyze Knowledge-Building in a University Chemistry Classroom
This research draws on Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) to understand the epistemic dimension of the higher education classroom discourse of a professor who is well evaluated by his students. In expository science classroom discourse, concepts are loaded with different meanings, a process that is called "condensation of meanings" in LCT, and are expressed using the concept of epistemic semantic density (ESD). The ESD can vary in classroom discourse, generating what is called a semantic wave in the LCT context. In this work, we initially compare two different translation devices, which are ways of systematically exploring the characteristics of the knowledge expressed in the classroom and how they vary, generating semantic waves. We were able to observe the strengths and weaknesses of both devices. They proved to be powerful tools in revealing how the complexity of science knowledge varies in a lesson. However, neither one demonstrates how meanings are connected in the lesson or how the semantic density of a particular concept changes over time. In this sense, we explore how everyday words at times become loaded with technical meaning when other concepts are connected to them. To achieve that, we use third device based on network science, an approach that analyzes and represents the systems of interactions of a wide range of physical and social phenomena. This allows us to evaluate how a term commonly used in everyday language, such as "lamp," can play a central role in the construction of meanings related to the episteme of chemistry. In addition, while LCT assumes that semantic waves necessarily optimize learning, the results obtained herein revealed that constellation of meanings does not directly relate to semantic waves.
Springer. Available from: Springer Nature. One New York Plaza, Suite 4600, New York, NY 10004. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-460-1700; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A