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Creative drama in chemistry education: a social semiotic approach
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5574-8636
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
2018 (English)In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 250-266Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drama is a way of teaching that has been suggested to support learning, but studies in science education are limited and the potential of using drama needs further scrutiny and design development. In this study, from an upper secondary school in Sweden, we investigate how creative drama may afford students’ meaning-making of abstract non-spontaneous chemical concepts, by exploring what kind of semiotic work students are engaged in when given the opportunity to use their own bodies as semiotic resources. We combine sociocultural theory of learning with multimodal social semiotic analysis. In our analysis, we found different types of transductions and transformations that had consequences for students' meaning-making. A conclusion is that when creative drama activities open up for students to use bodily mode in combination with a variety of other semiotic resources, the students are afforded to explore intermolecular forces in new ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 14, no 3, p. 250-266
Keywords [en]
chemistry, creative drama, upper secondary school, design-based research
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159474DOI: 10.5617/nordina.5869OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-159474DiVA, id: diva2:1243239
Projects
Forskarskolan NaNO
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2018-08-30 Created: 2018-08-30 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Drama i kemisalen: En designbaserad studie av hur kreativt drama kan stödja gymnasieelevers lärande av kemisk bindning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drama i kemisalen: En designbaserad studie av hur kreativt drama kan stödja gymnasieelevers lärande av kemisk bindning
2019 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A major challenge for chemistry education is to develop the students' understanding of chemical bonding. In upper-secondary school, the challenges are commonly expressed as difficulties for students to distinguish between intra and intermolecular bonding and to understand chemical bonding in terms of electronegativity. The aim of this thesis is to investigate in what ways creative drama can support the students' learning of non-spontaneous chemical concepts related to electronegativity and chemical bonding. Drama has previously been suggested to support science learning, but studies in science education are limited and the potential of using drama to afford student theoretical reasoning in chemistry needs further scrutiny and design development. In the study which forms the basis of the thesis, socio-cultural theory of learning is combined with multimodal social semiotic analysis. The study was conducted as a design-based study with interventions in three cycles in two schools. The interventions, including the drama activity and students group discussions before and after, were video-and audiotaped. In Article 1, data from cycle 2 was analyzed with respect to what kind of semiotic work students were engaged in. In Article 2, the data from cycles 1, 2 and 3 were analyzed on the basis of thematic content analysis resulting in themes regarding in what ways the students explored electronegativity and chemical bonding and in what ways creative drama afforded collective student agency. The main findings point to the importance of meaning-making through transduction to develop students' conceptual understanding of chemical bonding. In the students' semiotic work, it was possible to create relations between electronegativity and the polarity of molecules and to link the polarity of the molecules to intermolecular bonding in the collective whole class interaction, which in turn is a prerequisite for understanding phase changes. The interaction between the student groups was pivotal for linking the chemistry's sub-micro and macro levels. Further, the results show that the students' bodily formations of molecules in certain groups prompted semiotic work in other groups, which got consequences for the students’ collective agency. The visualization of the students' bodily formations created opportunities for students to pay attention to differences in representations of chemical bonding. A notion called epistemic dissonance is introduced to account for the emergent epistemic tensions/contradictions that become recognized by the students in the creative drama. Emergent epistemic dissonances constitute opportunities for collective work concerning the conceptual relations where students act as learning resources for oneanother. This thesis points to the importance of designing creative drama in such ways that both the material and social structure may support the students' collective agency.

Abstract [sv]

En stor utmaning för kemiutbildning är att utveckla elevernas förståelse för kemisk bindning. I gymnasieskolan uttrycks utmaningarna som svårigheter för elever att skilja mellan intra och intermolekylär bindning och att förstå kemisk bindning utifrån elektronegativitet. Syftet med den här avhandlingen är att undersöka på vilka sätt kreativt drama kan stödja elevernas lärande av icke-spontana kemiska begrepp relaterade till elektronegativitet och kemisk bindning. Drama är ett sätt att undervisa som har visat sig stödja lärande, men studier inom kemiutbildningen är begränsade och möjligheten att använda drama behöver ytterligare granskning och designutveckling. I studien som ligger till grund för avhandlingen kombineras sociokulturell teori om lärande med multimodal socialsemiotisk analys. En designbaserad studie i tre cykler av interventioner har genomförts i två skolor, vilka inkluderade drama aktiviteter och elevers diskussioner i grupper före och efter dramaaktiviteten. Interaktionerna i klassrummet video och ljudinspelades. I artikel 1 analyserades datamaterialet från cykel 2, utifrån vilken typ av semiotiskt arbete eleverna engagerade sig i när de fick möjlighet att använda sina egna kroppar som semiotiska resurser. I artikel 2 analyserades datamaterialet från cykel 1, 2 och 3, utifrån tematisk innehållsanalys som genererade teman som visade på vilka sätt eleverna undersökte elektronegativitet och kemisk bindning samt på vilka sätt kreativt drama öppnade upp för elevernas kollektiva agens. Huvudresultaten pekar på betydelsen av meningsskapande genom transduktion för att öka elevernas begreppsliga förståelse av kemisk bindning, vilket kan främjas av att eleverna får kombinera artefaktskapande med kroppslig gestaltning. I elevernas semiotiska arbete möjliggjordes att skapa relationer mellan elektronegativitet och molekylers polaritet samt att i den kollektiva helklassinteraktion länka molekylernas polaritet till intermolekylär bindning, vilket i sin tur är en förutsättning för att förstå fasändringar på makronivå. Interaktionen mellan elevgrupperna var avgörande för eleverna att koppla ihop kemins submikro och makronivåer med varandra. Vidare visar resultaten att gruppernas kroppsliga formationer av molekyler i vissa grupper drev på semiotiskt arbete i andra grupper, vilket fick betydelse för den kollektiva agensen. Vid alla observerade lektionstillfällen uppstod ett behov "att veta varför". I dramat skapades möjligheter för eleverna att själva uppmärksamma sådant som inte stämde överens mellan olika gestalningar av kemisk binding. Vi har valt att benämna detta som epistemisk dissonans. Epistemisk dissonans som uppstår i det kreativa dramat hanteras kollektivt av eleverna som fungerar som läroresurser för varandra. Avhandlingens resultat pekar på vikten av att designa kreativt drama så att både den materiella och sociala strukturen kan gynna elevernas kollektiva agens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för matematikämnets och naturvetenskapsämnenas didaktik, Stockholms universitet, 2019. p. 56
Series
Rapporter i matematikämnets och naturvetenskapsämnenas didaktik ; 12
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173777 (URN)978-91-7797-982-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-04-25, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-07 Created: 2019-10-01 Last updated: 2019-10-07Bibliographically approved

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