Modal Representations and Their Role in the Learning Process: A Theoretical and Pragmatic AnalysisReport as inadecuate

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Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, v16 n1 p109-126 Feb 2016

In the construction and sharing of scientific knowledge, modal representations such as text, graphics, pictures, and mathematical expressions are commonly used. Due to the increasing importance of their role in the production and communication of science, modal representations have become a topic of growing interest in science education research in recent years. Resulting from this research are indications that students who can mentally identify modal representations, understand their function in communication, and make transitions between different representation modes learn scientific concepts more easily and permanently. Furthermore, when modal representations are integrated into writing-to-learn activities, they serve as an alternative method of teaching and measurement of assessment for teachers as well as a learning tool that activates students' cognitive abilities. In this study, the concept of representation, the framework of which has not yet been clearly established in the related literature in Turkey, and the characteristics of modal representations have been addressed together. Furthermore, their role in science education and writing-to-learn activities has been explored by considering their theoretical and pragmatic dimensions.

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Science Education, Learning Processes, Visual Aids, Writing (Composition), Learning Activities

Educational Consultancy, Ltd (EDAM). Kisikli Mh. Alemdag Cd. Yan Yol Sk., SBK Is Merkezi No:5 Kat:1, Uskudar-Istanbul, 34692 Turkey. Tel: +90-216-481-30-23; Fax: +90-216-481-31-36; e-mail: editor[at]; Web site:

Author: Gunel, Murat; Yesildag-Hasancebi, Funda


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