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Multiple Representations in Physics and Science Education

  • Treagust D
  • Duit R
  • Fischer H
ISSN: 1871-2983
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This volume is important because despite various external representations, such as analogies, metaphors, and visualizations being commonly used by physics teachers, educators and researchers, the notion of using the pedagogical functions of multiple representations to support teaching and learning is still a gap in physics education. The research presented in the three sections of the book is introduced by descriptions of various psychological theories that are applied in different ways for designing physics teaching and learning in classroom settings. The following chapters of the book illustrate teaching and learning with respect to applying specific physics multiple representations in different levels of the education system and in different physics topics using analogies and models, different modes, and in reasoning and representational competence. When multiple representations are used in physics for teaching, the expectation is that they should be successful. To ensure this is the case, the implementation of representations should consider design principles for using multiple representations. Investigations regarding their effect on classroom communication as well as on the learning results in all levels of schooling and for different topics of physics are reported. The book is intended for physics educators and their students at universities and for physics teachers in schools to apply multiple representations in physics in a productive way. Foreword; Progress on Multiple Representations; Reference; Contents; Contributors; Chapter 1: Multiple Representations in Physics and Science Education -- Why Should We Use Them?; 1.1 Introduction; 1.2 What Are Multiple Representations?; 1.3 Theories on Learning with Multiple Representations; 1.3.1 The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML); 1.3.2 The Integrated Model of Text and Picture Comprehension (ITPC); 1.3.3 The DeFT (Design, Functions, Tasks) Framework for Learning with Multiple External Representations; 1.3.4 Types of External Representations and Their Benefits for Learning. 1.3.5 Characteristics of Text That Are Beneficial for Learning1.3.6 Characteristics of Pictorial Representations That Are Beneficial for Learning; 1.4 The Role of Individual Learner Characteristics for Learning with Multiple Representations; 1.5 The Theory of Choreographies of Teaching; 1.6 Summary; References; Part I: Multiple Representations: Focus On Models and Analogies; Chapter 2: Teaching and Learning Representations in Upper Secondary Physics; 2.1 Introduction; 2.2 Theoretical Rationale; 2.3 PHYS 21 Teaching Material; 2.4 Methodology; 2.5 Results; 2.5.1 Student Questionnaire Data. 2.5.2 Classroom Observations2.5.3 Teacher Interviews; 2.5.4 Students' Achievement Test; 2.6 Discussion; Appendix; Achievement Test to Measure Understanding of and Transitions Between Representations; Student Questionnaire; References; Chapter 3: Integrating Computational Artifacts into the Multi-representational Toolkit of Physics Education; 3.1 Background; 3.1.1 Computational Representations in Scientific Practice; 3.1.2 Computational Representations in Science Education; 3.1.3 Computational Representations as Distributed; 3.2 Research Design; 3.2.1 Study Context. 3.2.2 Professional Scientists: The LCD Research Group3.2.3 5th Grade Science Class: The Evaporation and Condensation Lesson; 3.2.4 Analysis; 3.3 Case 1: Modeling Liquid Crystal Displays; 3.3.1 Episode 1 -- "It's Just Gonna Lie Down?"; 3.3.2 Episode 2 -- "There's Kind of a Funny Bump"; 3.4 Case 2: Modeling Condensation and Cloud Formation; 3.4.1 Episode 1: "What Do We Think About This Representation?"; 3.4.2 Episode 2 -- "Maybe You Could Have a Color Option"; 3.5 Discussion; 3.5.1 From Making Sense to Making Use of Computational Artifacts as Representations. 3.5.2 Understanding the Representational Toolkit of Physics and Physics Education3.6 Conclusion; References; Chapter 4: Evaluating Multiple Analogical Representations from Students' Perceptions; 4.1 Introduction; 4.2 Theoretical Background; 4.3 Developing Design Principles for Multiple Analogies; 4.3.1 Enlightenments from Research Approaches to Analogies; 4.3.2 Enlightenments from Research Approaches to Multiple Representations; 4.3.3 Evaluation Principles for Designing Multiple Analogies; 4.4 Frequently Used Analogies in Electricity; 4.5 Method; 4.5.1 Participants.




Treagust, D. F., Duit, R., & Fischer, H. E. (2017). Multiple Representations in Physics and Science Education. Multiple Representations in Physics Education, 10(July), 1–21. Retrieved from

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