J.L.Lemke On-line Office

Science Education


A large part of my research has dealt with Science Education, particularly with the role of language, and more recently of language combined with other representational media (action, gesture, mathematics, graphics and images) in scientific communication in schools and in professional science. See General Bibliography.

The best summary of my early work on language in secondary school science classrooms is found in Talking Science: Language, Learning, and Values (Ablex/JAI Publishing, 1990). Contents. Bibliography.

Aprender a Hablar Ciencia, 1997. Barcelona: Paidos. [Spanish-language edition of Talking Science]

A recent overview of my views on the nature and teaching of scientific concepts as multimedia constructions can be found in "Teaching All the Languages of Science: Words, Symbols, Images, and Actions" [Link]. This is an invited conference address that may be published in whole or in part in Metatemas, a journal edited in Barcelona.

Articulating Communities: Sociocultural Perspectives on Science Education, invited article for Journal of Research on Science Teaching gives an overview of the role of this important intellectual perspective in relation to several other approaches.

NEW work-in-progress on multimedia semiotics of science and science education websites is represented by a first draft paper looking at two NASA websites, one for students and the educated public and one for science professionals, which present some of the same datasets through scientific visualization (UC Davis paper) and its successor, using these sites to examine issues of multimedia semiotics, hypertext semantics, and interactivity:
Travels in Hypermodality .

An example of my analysis of the multi-modal nature of science learning in the classroom can be found in a contribution to an Australian national research project on the literacy demands of advanced secondary school curricula "Multimedia Demands of the Scientific Curriculum" [Link], co-ordinated by researchers at Griffith University. (To appear in a special issue of Linguistics and Education on "Language and Other Semiotics in Education".)

See also: Mathematics in the Middle: Measure, Picture, Gesture, Sign, and Word. New paper on semiotics and mathematics education, with direct relevance to science education.

By Request:
"The Missing Context in Science Education: Science" is an AERA conference paper from 1993, available in the ERIC ED database, which presents my basic argument that science curriculum woefully lacks direct inclusion of student experience with real-world scientific and technological activity and its products. Link.

There is a good collection of my conference papers in science education available in the ERIC database. The following are probably of particular interest to educators:

In addition there are many applications to science education in my new work on multimedia analysis:

"Multiplying Meaning: Visual and Verbal Semiotics in Scientific Text" in J.R. Martin & R. Veel, Eds., Reading Science. London: Routledge. (pp.87-113). 1998.

"Analysing Verbal Data: Principles, Methods, and Problems" in K. Tobin & B. Fraser, (Eds). International Handbook of Science Education. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 1175-1189. 1998.

"Multimedia Literacy Demands of the Scientific Curriculum" Report to the Project: Literacy Demands of the Post-compulsory Curriculum; Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Those interested in gender issues in science education may find provocative ideas in via this link.