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The Semiotic Work of the Hands in Scientific Enquiry

Sakr, M; Jewitt, C; Price, S; (2014) The Semiotic Work of the Hands in Scientific Enquiry. Classroom Discourse , 5 (1) pp. 51-70. 10.1080/19463014.2013.868078. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper takes a multimodal approach to analyzing embodied interaction and discourses of scientific investigation using an interactive tangible tabletop. It argues that embodied forms of interaction are central to science inquiry. More specifically, the paper examines the role of hand actions in the development of descriptions and explanations of scientific phenomena in tangible digital learning environments. It reports an observational study of primary school students aged 10-11 years conducting scientific investigations via an interactive tangible tabletop. Through the systematic tracking and analysis of hand action in line with phases of scientific inquiry the paper maps, critiques and extends previous research, notably Roth?s concept of a ?developmental trajectory?, to develop a ?taxonomy? of hand actions for scientific inquiry in tangible digital learning environments. The paper concludes by presenting an alternative model through which to understand the semiotic role of the hands in scientific inquiry, one in which different hand actions do not follow a simple developmental sequence, but instead fulfill different functions across the inquiry process.

Type: Article
Title: The Semiotic Work of the Hands in Scientific Enquiry
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/19463014.2013.868078
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2013.868078
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Classroom Discourse on 8 January 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19463014.2013.868078.
Keywords: embodied interaction, multimodality, scientific enquiry, tangible learning environment, hand action
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474985
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