liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Visual thinking, visual speech: a semiotic perspective on meaning-making in molecular life science
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (FONTD)
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Molecular life science has become one of the fastest-growing fields of scientific and technical innovation. An important issue for tomorrow’s education is to meet the challenge posed by various facets of molecular life science. Images, diagrams and other forms of visualization are playing increasingly important roles in molecular life science teaching and research, both for conveying information and as conceptual tools, transforming the way we think about the events and processes the subject covers.

This thesis highlights different aspects of molecular life science education: the rapid production and flow of information, its multi- and interdisciplinary character, the complexity of life phenomena and our knowledge of them, and the high level of abstraction of the knowledge produced. This study also examines how upper secondary and tertiary students interpret visualizations of proteins. The participating upper secondary students were taking different variants of the natural science program in the second (grade 11) or third (grade 12) year. A set of 20 upper secondary students, and four third-year biochemistry students were interviewed in semistructured, revised clinical interviews. Furthermore, 31 university students participated in a group discussion and answered a questionnaire. The interviews, group discussions and questionnaires were structured around 2D illustrations of proteins and an animated representation of water molecules being transported through a channel in the cell membrane.

Three critical features of the ability to visualize molecular processes were identified: the complexity of biomolecular processes, the dynamic and stochastic nature of biomolecular interaction, and extrapolation between 2D and 3D. The results also indicate that the students may possess an understanding of a process which they cannot express in words.

Furthermore, the results indicate that beginner students use a kind of intermediate language when learning a new content area, frequently making use of metaphors, some that they have obtained from their teaching and some that they create themselves, i.e. spontaneous metaphors. They also make use of words that seemingly have no meaning, such as “plupp” and “flopp”. These words are here referred to as help-words. The results from this study indicate that spontaneous metaphors and helpwords do take on a meaning in learning situations and that they play a role in the meaning-making of the students. Moreover, the results indicate that difficulties in science education may to a large degree be connected to the problems of communicating the precise and general nature of scientific terms.

Abstract [sv]

De molekylära livsvetenskaperna framstår som ett av de mest snabbväxande fälten inom naturvetenskap och teknik. En viktig fråga för framtida utbildning är därför hur vi kan bemästra de olika aspekterna av denna utveckling. Bilder, diagram och andra former av visualiseringar spelar en allt viktigare roll i de molekylära livsvetenskaperna, såväl för undervisning som för forskning. De kan användas för att förmedla information och som tankeredskap, med förmåga att bygga upp och transformera vår förståelse av de fenomen och processer som studeras.

Denna avhandling fokuserar olika aspekter av utbildning i molekylär livsvetenskap, bl.a. det snabba flödet av, och produktionen av information, områdets multi- och interdisciplinära karaktär, komplexiteten hos biologiska och biokemiska system och vår kunskap om dessa, samt den abstrakta karaktären av denna kunskap. Speciellt fokuserar avhandlingen frågan hur gymnasieelever och universitetsstudenter tolkar visualiseringar av proteiner. De deltagande gymnasieeleverna studerade olika varianter av det naturvetenskapliga programmet och gick i andra och tredje årskursen i gymnasiet, och de deltagande universitetsstudenterna studerade biokemi inom ramen för kemisk biologi programmet. Semistrukturerade, reviderade kliniska intervjuer genomfördes med tjugo gymnasieelever och fyra universitetsstudenter. Trettioen (31) förstaårsstudenter på universitetsprogrammet kemisk biologi besvarade en enkät och deltog i en videofilmad gruppdiskussion. Intervjuerna, gruppdiskussionerna och enkäten strukturerades kring illustrationer av proteiner och en animation av hur vattenmolekyler passerar genom ett kanalprotein (aquaporin) i cellmembranet.

Tre kritiska aspekter av förmågan att visualisera molekylära processer identifierades: biomolekylära processers komplexitet, den dynamiska och stokastiska karaktären hos dessa, samt extrapolering mellan 2D och 3D. Resultaten indikerar även att det är möjligt att ha en förståelse som inte kan uttryckas i ord.

Resultaten visar dessutom att nybörjare inom ett område använder ett slags intermediärt språk, vilket innehåller en stor andel metaforer, av vilka en del har inhämtats från undervisningen medan andra är spontana, d.v.s. uppfinns av den lärande själv. Till yttermera visso använder nybörjarstudenter ord som skenbart kan sakna betydelse, sådana ord som “plupp” och “flopp”. Dessa ord benämns här hjälpord. Resultaten från denna undersökning visar att spontana metaforer och hjälpord tilldelas specifika meningar i lärsituationer och att de spelar en roll i elevernas meningsskapande. Ytterligare en aspekt av resultaten som presenteras i denna avhandling är att en stor del av problemen i naturvetenskaplig undervisning kan kopplas till svårigheter med att förmedla den precisa och generella innebörden av vetenskapliga termer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2008. , 51 p.
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 20
Keyword [en]
Molecular life science, visualizations, metaphors, help-words
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21103ISBN: 978-91-7393-859-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-21103DiVA: diva2:240588
Public defence
2008-09-12, DeGeergymnasiet, Nygatan 68, Norrköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-12-11 Created: 2009-09-29 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Educational Challenges of Molecular Life Science- Characteristics and implications for education and research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Educational Challenges of Molecular Life Science- Characteristics and implications for education and research
2010 (English)In: CBE - Life Sciences Education, ISSN 1931-7913, E-ISSN 1931-7913, Vol. 9, no 1, 25-33 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Molecular life science is one of the fastest-growing fields of scientific and technical innovation, and biotechnology has profound effects on many aspects of daily life, often with deep ethical dimensions. At the same time the content is inherently complex, highly abstract and deeply rooted in diverse disciplines ranging from “pure sciences,” such as maths, chemistry, and physics, through “applied sciences”, such as medicine and agriculture, to subjects that are traditionally within the remit of humanities, notably philosophy and ethics. Together these features pose diverse, important, and exciting challenges for tomorrow’s teachers and educational establishments.

With backgrounds in molecular life science research and secondary life science teaching, we (LT and CJR, respectively) bring different experiences, perspectives, concerns, and awareness of these issues. Taking the nature of the discipline as a starting point, we highlight important facets of molecular life science that are both characteristic of the domain and challenging for learning and education. Of these challenges we focus in most detail on content, reasoning difficulties, and communication issues. We also discuss implications for education research and teaching in the molecular life sciences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bethesda, MD, United States: American Society for Cell Biology, 2010
Keyword
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Visualization, Complex learning, Abstraction, Multidisciplinary, Reasoning difficulties
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51568 (URN)10.1187/cbe.08-09-0055 (DOI)000284836100006 ()20194805 (PubMedID)
Projects
VisMolLS
Note

Original Publication: Lena Tibell and Carl-Johan Rundgren, Educational Challenges of Molecular Life Science- Characteristics and implications for education and research, 2010, CBE Life Sciences Education, (9), 1, 25-33. Copyright: American Society for Cell Biology http://www.ascb.org/

Available from: 2009-11-07 Created: 2009-11-07 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Critical Features of Visualizations of Transport through the Cell Membrane: An Empirical Study of Upper Secondary and Tertiary Students' Meaning-Making of a Still Image and an Animation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Critical Features of Visualizations of Transport through the Cell Membrane: An Empirical Study of Upper Secondary and Tertiary Students' Meaning-Making of a Still Image and an Animation
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, ISSN 1571-0068, E-ISSN 1573-1774, Vol. 8, no 2, 223-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Images, diagrams and other forms of visualization are playing increasingly important roles in molecular life science teaching and research, both for conveying information and as conceptual tools, transforming the way we think about the events and processes the subject covers. This study examines how upper secondary and tertiary students interpret visualizations of transport through the cell membrane in the form of a still image and an animation. Twenty upper secondary and five tertiary students were interviewed. In addition, 31 university students participated in a group discussion and answered a questionnaire regarding the animation. A model, based on variation theory, was then tested as a tool for distinguishing between what is expected to be learned, what is present in the visualizations, and what is actually learned by the students.

Three critical features of the ability to visualize biomolecular processes were identified from the students’ interpretations of the animation: the complexity of biomolecular processes, the dynamic and random nature of biomolecular interactions, and extrapolation between 2D and 3D. The results of this study support the use of multiple representations to achieve different learning goals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht: Springer, 2010
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17662 (URN)10.1007/s10763-009-9171-1 (DOI)000292146300002 ()
Note

The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com: Carl-Johan A. Rundgren and Lena Tibell, Critical Features of Visualizations of Transport through the Cell Membrane: An Empirical Study of Upper Secondary and Tertiary Students' Meaning-Making of a Still Image and an Animation, 2010, International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, (8), 2, 223-246. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10763-009-9171-1 Copyright: Springer Science Business Media http://www.springerlink.com/

Available from: 2009-04-08 Created: 2009-04-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Death of Metaphors in Life Science?: A study of upper secondary and tertiary students' use of metaphors and help-words in their meaning-making of scientific content.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Death of Metaphors in Life Science?: A study of upper secondary and tertiary students' use of metaphors and help-words in their meaning-making of scientific content.
2009 (English)In: Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, ISSN 1609-4913, Vol. 10, no 3, Article 3- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study reported in this article investigated the use of metaphors by upper secondary and tertiary students while learning a specific content area in molecular life science, protein function. Terms and expressions in science can be used in such precise and general senses that they are totally dissociated from their metaphoric origins. Beginners in a scientific field, however, lack the experience of using a term of metaphorical origin in its domain-specific precise and general sense, and may therefore be more cognitively affected than the expert by the underlying metaphor. The study shows that beginners in the field of molecular life science use spontaneous metaphors and metaphors used in teaching in a way that demonstrates that they have difficulty using the proper scientific terminology. The results of this study indicate, among other things, that difficulties in science education may, to a large degree, be connected with problems of communicating the generality and precision of scientific terms and metaphors used in science. The article ends with a suggestion as how to enable students to move from general and vague metaphoric uses of scientific terms toward a more general and precise usage.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19733 (URN)
Available from: 2009-07-23 Created: 2009-07-23 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
4. Help-words – a Creative Way of Making Sense of visualizations in molecular life science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Help-words – a Creative Way of Making Sense of visualizations in molecular life science
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

When confronted with the representations and terms of science, students make meaning using the knowledge and language they possess. They make frequent use of conventional expressions, but they also use words that seemingly have no conventional meaning, here labelled help-words. This study explores the verbal resources upper secondary students use to make meaning of molecular life science. The paper gives a description of the phenomenon of non-conventionalised expressions, help-words, based on a study of 20 upper secondary students. The results indicate that help-words are meaningful in learning situations, especially in abstract disciplines such as molecular life science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Braga, Portugal: , 2010
Keyword
Help-words, Communication, Molecular life science
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-52239 (URN)
Conference
ERIDOB 2010
Available from: 2009-12-11 Created: 2009-12-11 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
5. Att börja tala 'biokemiska': betydelsen av metaforer och hjälpord för meningsskapande kring proteiner
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att börja tala 'biokemiska': betydelsen av metaforer och hjälpord för meningsskapande kring proteiner
2006 (Swedish)In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 1, no 5, 30-42 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper deals with the process of acquiring a subject-specific language. When confronted with the visual representations and scientific terms of molecular life science, students try to make meaning using the language they have access to and their prior experience. In this process students use a kind of intermediate language, with frequent use of metaphors. Some metaphors can be traced back to the teaching they have experienced, while some are spontaneous metaphors created by the students. They also make use of words that seemingly have no meaning, here referred to as helpwords. The results from this study indicate that spontaneous metaphors and helpwords are important in learning situations, especially in an abstract discipline such as molecular life science. This paper aims to give a preliminary theoretical description of the phenomenon of helpwords, based on an interview study of 20 students taking natural science courses in their upper secondary school education.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21102 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-29 Created: 2009-09-29 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
6. Students’ conceptions of water transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Students’ conceptions of water transport
2010 (English)In: Journal of Biological Education, ISSN 0021-9266, Vol. 44, no 3, 129-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Understanding the diffusion of water into and out of the cell through osmosis is fundamental to the learning and teaching of biology. Although the movement of water into (and out of) the cell is typically thought of as occurring directly across the lipid bilayer, the major proportion of osmosis actually occurs via specialized transmembranal water-channels called aquaporins. The objective of this study was to investigate students’ prior knowledge of water transport from Taiwan and Sweden by three individual studies. A questionnaire with open-ended question and question using a Likert scale was used at upper secondary level and an open-ended questionnaire was developed to let university students draw and write down their ideas. The results generated from three individual studies including an initial study conducted with 118 Swedish upper secondary biology students, and the other two studies implemented in Taiwan with 101 non-science majors and in Sweden with 37 science majors enrolled in a third-year biochemistry course. The results from the initial study indicated that 50% of respondents to a questionnaire on diffusion seemed to be oblivious of the fact that water is transported through the cell membrane through specialised channels. The Taiwanese data showed that the non-science majors explained water transport mainly as a phenomenon occurring at a cellular level. Furthermore, the majority of the students showed no awareness of specialised water channels and seemed to think that water molecules can diffuse directly into (and out) of the cell membrane. From the Swedish students’ responses, surprisingly, one third of these “expert” students did not provide explanations of water transport that involved specialised water channels. In addition, a larger proportion of the students (41%) used explanations on a molecular level than the Taiwanese students, but the majority (54%) still based their explanations on cellular level descriptions of the process. The preliminary findings of the study presented here indicate that the majority of the students in this study thought that water penetrates the bilayer directly. Our results indicate that teaching the topic of diffusion is often not up to date with the current world-view of science.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-52240 (URN)000285984200007 ()
Note
Original Publication: Carl-Johan Rundgren, Shu-Nu Chang Rundgren and Konrad Schönborn, Students’ conceptions of water transport, 2010, Journal of Biological Education, (44), 3, 129-135. Copyright: Institute of Biology http://www.iob.org/homeAvailable from: 2009-12-11 Created: 2009-12-11 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Authority records BETA

Rundgren, Carl-Johan

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Rundgren, Carl-Johan
By organisation
Department of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Didactics

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 1353 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf