Field relations : Understanding scientific explanations

Book chapter


Doran, Y. J. and Martin, J. R.. (2021). Field relations : Understanding scientific explanations. In In Maton, Karl, Martin, J. R. and Doran, Y. J. (Ed.). Teaching science : Knowledge, language, pedagogy pp. 105-133 Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351129282-7
AuthorsDoran, Y. J. and Martin, J. R.
EditorsMaton, Karl, Martin, J. R. and Doran, Y. J.
Abstract

To understand science, students need to learn a large interconnected set of uncommon-sense meanings. But despite decades of research, the precise nature of these meanings has not been made clear. This chapter focuses on the meanings involved in scientific explanations of complex phenomena such as seasons. It synthesizes three decades of research into scientific discourse to renovate the SFL register dimension ‘field’, to better deal with the technical meanings of science. The chapter focuses on explanations of seasons as they are taught in secondary school science and illustrates the ways in which scientific meanings are construed dynamically as series of unfolding activities, and statically as relations between items. It also considers how the gradable properties of science are presented in multimodal discourse and how all of these features of scientific meaning can be reconstrued and connected together to make an integrated whole. The model clarifies the interdependent meanings at play in scientific understandings of the world and the challenges faced by teachers and students when navigating teaching/learning pathways through these networks of meaning. In doing so, it shows how the meanings made through both language and an ensemble of multimodal resources organize scientific knowledge.

Page range105-133
Year2021
Book titleTeaching science : Knowledge, language, pedagogy
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationLondon, United Kingdom
New York, NY
ISBN9780815355762
9780815355755
9781351129282
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351129282-7
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85108470008
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online26 Apr 2021
Print2021
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Jun 2022
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