The interplay of representations and patterns of classroom discourse in science teaching sequences
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The purpose of this study is to examines the relationship between the communicative approach of classroom talk and the modes of representations used by science teachers. Based on video data from two physics classrooms in Singapore, a recurring pattern in the relationship was observed as the teaching sequence of a lesson unfolded. It was found that as the mode of representation shifted from enactive (action based) to iconic (image based) to symbolic (language based), there was a concurrent and coordinated shift in the classroom communicative approach from interactive–dialogic to interactive–authoritative to non-interactive–authoritative. Specifically, the shift from enactive to iconic to symbolic representations occurred mainly within the interactive–dialogic approach while the shift towards the interactive–authoritative and non-interactive–authoritative approaches occurred when symbolic modes of representation were used. This concurrent and coordinated shift has implications on how we conceive the use of representations in conjunction with the co-occurring classroom discourse, both theoretically and pedagogically.
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