Ambiguities in representing the concept of energy: a semiotic approach



Many researches in science education have shown the importance of the concept of energy and the learning difficulties that students face. Based on a semiotic approach, the current study focuses on the different ways in representing the concept of energy. It examines the ambiguities appear in written text, diagram, photo, graph, corporal acts etc. as vehicles of conveying some aspects of the energy concept. Video of a regular Greek lesson about energy and an usual Greek physics school textbook composed our database. The first results show a conceptual blending between the concepts 'transfer' and 'transformation' due to the lack of specification of which are exactly the physical systems studied in these modes of representation.


Teaching physics, energy concept, systems of signs, inscriptions, semiotic resources

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