Translating Modalities: Preschool Teachers' Work with Children's Meaning Making in Science
2015 (English)In: Science Education Research: Engaging Learners for a Sustainable Future (Proceedings of ESERA 2015): Part 15, Strand 15, Early years science education / [ed] Jari Lavonen, Kalle Juuti, Jarkko Lampiselkä, Anna Uitto & Kaisa Hahl, Helsinki, Finland: University of Helsinki, 2015, 2608-2615 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Children in preschool encounter sensations in their daily activities that could be interpreted as scientific phenomena. As part of these encounters, social interaction and meaning making are important elements in making science available to the children. Children in preschool rely on multimodal communication since they have not yet developed a verbal language. Therefore, this study aims at taking a multimodal perspective to investigate meaning making in science in a preschool setting. Data was collected using observations and audio recordings from one Swedish preschool with 18 children between 1-5 years old and three preschool teachers. Data was analyzed using semantic relationships. However, these relationships were investigated not only within verbal utterances, but in gestures and embodied activities as well. The results show that the preschool teacher verbalizes children’s embodied actions and gestures. In doing so, the teacher not only offers words for children’s activities, but also makes the activities, and participants’ meaning making, explicit to all children in the group. Hence, the teacher is translating modalities. Furthermore, this study shows the importance of attending a multimodal perspective in preschool settings. If attention is only given to children’s verbal output, there is a risk of underestimating their competence in emergent science meaning making. Instead, a multimodal perspective reveals children’s competent meaning making in interaction.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki, Finland: University of Helsinki, 2015. 2608-2615 p.
Meaning making, multimodality, preschool, science education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-127530ISBN: 978-951-51-1541-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-127530DiVA: diva2:925566
The 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), 31 August-4 September, Helsinki, Finland