Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Science Education

Volume

97

Issue

4

Publication Date

7-1-2013

First Page

524

Last Page

549

DOI

10.1002/sce.21064

Abstract

Framed in theories of social semiotics, this multiple case study describes and categorizes the actional-operational modes used by three middle school earth science teachers throughout the course of one school year. Data included fieldnotes, photographs, and video recordings of classroom instructions as well as periodic interviews with the teachers. A constant comparative analysis of the data resulted in the creation of a typology of actional-operation modes were identified: gesture, embodied representation, moving objects on flat surfaces, moving objects through three-dimensional space, material representations, and observed phenomena. Multimodal concordance charts were used to identify the affordances and productive constraints of each of these modes. The study offers implications for how fundamental science literacy instruction might be reconceptualized to more rigorously account for actional-operational texts, including building students' multimodal representational compeence and providing comprehension strategy instruction in ways that consider these modes' unique features.

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