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Liu Yu Multimodal Analysis Lab National University of Singapore

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1 Liu Yu Multimodal Analysis Lab National University of Singapore
A Systemic Functional Multimodal Discourse Analysis (SF-MDA) Approach to Science Literacies in Secondary School Chemistry textbooks Liu Yu Multimodal Analysis Lab National University of Singapore

2 Background: Significance of science education
Highly valued in the school curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) Governments’ generous financial investment on science education (Rose, 1997: 3)

3 Scientific Literacy vs. Science Literacy
Scientific Literacy: Students’ individual cognitive development and the ability to understand scientific concepts. Science Literacy: Scientific talking, reading and writing as representations. (Bennett 2003: 148)

4 Literacy challenges posed by multimodal construction of scientific knowledge
Language Images Graphs and tables Mathematical symbols Chemical symbols

5 Research questions How to bridge scientific literacy and science literacy and incorporate their insights in chemistry education? Why did modern chemical symbolism emerge complementary to language? What are the special functions of chemical symbolism and their implications for teaching and learning?

6 Outline Revisiting a classic psychological model in chemistry education (Johnstone 1982, 1993) and incorporating its insights into the SF- MDA approach (O’Halloran 2007) Investigating semogenesis of modern chemical symbolism and analyzing its functional affordances Discussing teaching and learning implications from Bernstein’s (1990) sociology of education

7 Scientific literacy: The psychological approach
Macroscopic Level Submicroscopic Level Representational Level Adapted from Johnstone (1993: 703)

8 Different descriptions of the rusting of iron
Level Macroscopic Submicroscopic Representational Description Solid iron nail has a brown flaky coating on it that comes off easily when touched. Iron metal has iron atoms all closely packed together to form the solid nail. Some of the iron atoms next to the surface have reacted with the oxygen molecules forming a bond between an iron atom and an oxygen atom according to the formula Fe2O3. The chemical equation summarizes the reaction showing the number of iron atoms and oxygen atoms involved in the reaction. A ball-and-stick model and a computer simulation can depict the solid iron atoms being attacked by the oxygen molecule. Real or Representation Real Real-but too small to be seen with naked eyes Representation Perception Visible Can’t be seen with naked eyes, so mental image is based on descriptions, diagrams, explanations The model is a tool to help understand the real entity. Adapted from Chittleborough (2004: 22)

9 Science literacy: Social semiotic approach
Context plane Common sense Scientific knowledge Content plane Semantic stratum Ideational meaning Lexico-grammatical stratum Common language Technical language Based on Martin (2007: 34)

10 Systemic functional linguistic approach to chemistry verbal texts
Meaning Stratum Ideational meaning Semantic stratum Macroscopic meaning Submicroscopic meaning Lexicogrammatical stratum Common language (e.g. a brown flaky coating) Technical language (e.g. ferri oxide)

11 Recent research on Multimodal Discourse Analysis from Systemic Functional perspectives (SF-MDA)
Displayed art (O’Toole 1994) Visual design (Kress and van Leeuwen 1996) Scientific and mathematical visuals (O’Halloran 1996, 1999a, 2000, 2005, 2007b ; Baldry and Thibault 2006; Guo 2004; Jones 2007) Mathematical symbolism (O’Halloran 1996, 1999a, 2000, 2005) Three-dimensional objects (O’Toole 1994, 2004; Kress and van Leeuwen 2006) Embodied action (Martinec 1998, 2000) Music (Van Leeuwen 1999)

12 Lexicogrammatical stratum
SF-MDA approach to science literacies in secondary school chemistry textbooks Meaning Stratum Ideational meaning Semantic stratum Macroscopic meaning Submicroscopic meaning Lexicogrammatical stratum Common language Photographs Technical language Micrographs Scientific drawing Tables Graphs Chemical symbolism

13 Semogenesis of modern chemical symbolism
Quantification requirements of chemistry Theoretical revolution of chemistry in the late 18th century Meaning making potentials (language vs. symbolism) Ratio rate between elements (e.g. calcium chloride / CaCl2) Medium in an Ergativity configuration [e.g. Charcoal is burned. / C + O2]

14 Lexicogrammatical strategies: The Reactive process
[[C + O2]] CO2 [[Fe + O2]] Fe2O3 The Reactive/Operative process [[2Fe + 3O2]] Fe2O3

15 Lexicogrammatical strategies: Multiple rankshift
Clause: H2 + O2 → 2H2O Expression: H2, O2, H2O, 2H2, 2H2O (i.e. word group /phrase) Atom: H, O, 2, +, → (i.e. word) [[[[2[[H2]]]] + [[O2]]]] → [[2[[H2O]]]]

16 Lexicogrammatical strategies: Multiple rankshift
Process Participants Rank 1 (ranking clause) →(Relational) 2H2+O2 2H2O Rank 2 + (Reactive/Operative) 2H2 O2 Rank 3 (Ⅰ) Х (Operative) 2 H2 Rank 3 (Ⅱ) Rank 3 (Ⅲ) H2O Rank 4 (Ⅰ) + ( Reactive/Operative) H Rank 4 (Ⅱ) O Rank 4 (Ⅲ)

17 Lexicogrammatical strategies: Multiple rankshift
Step 1: Write the formula H O2 → H2O Step 2: Count the atoms Step 3: Add ‘2’ in front of H2O H O2 → 2H2O Step 4: Count the atoms again Step 5: Add ‘2’ in front of H H O2 → 2H2O Adapted from (Onn, Ang and Khoo 2006: 59)

18 Symbolic representations of ‘copper oxide’
Lexicogrammatical strategies: Ellipsis of the Reactive/Operative process at the rank of Expression Symbolic representations of ‘copper oxide’ Congruent representation: Cu + O (Berzelius 1813, see Brock 1993: 154) Rank-shifted representation: CuO

19 The semo-genetic codification of copper oxide
+ Cu O CuO

20 Viewed from Bernstein’s (1990) classification of pedagogical devices
Intra-individual Psychological approach (e.g. Johnstone 1982, 1993) Acquisition Transmission SF-MDA approach (e.g. O’Halloran 2007 ) Inter-group

21 Concluding remarks Chemical symbolism as powerful meaning potential
Developing scientific literacy with science literacies Chemical symbolism as powerful meaning potential for semantic expansions rather than a jargon Towards a SF-MDA meta-language for developing literacies with a visible pedagogy

22 Thank you!

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