M. Davut Gül, Zekai Ayık, Bayram Coştu


Communication of scientific knowledge is ultimately multimodal. In science education, many researchers demonstrated that design of science texts has a great role in meaning-making of communicated scientific knowledge. In order to present message, representations are essential elements that need to be designed consciously by science educators. This study investigates meaning-making practices of pre-service science teachers during learning activities. In a social semiotic approach, multimodality principles were executed to reveal how participants think about meaning-making practices, how they design their learn materials, and how they orchestrate during teaching. 41 preservice science teachers participated to study. 33 of them responded multimodal literacy scale, all of them prepared a PowerPointTM presentation as ten groups to teach a certain general chemistry topic and classroom observations were done. It was seen that, in theory almost all pre-service science teachers have representational competence but the results stemming from real practices showed inverse. Results of this study demonstrated that there is a big gap between pedagogical concerns and meaning-making facilities in the practices of pre-service science teachers during a science instruction. It was implied that, designing learning materials that contain high meaning-making potentials and mastering to communicate it requires a theoretical and pedagogical knowledge.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



meaning-making, multimodality, science education, social semiotics

Full Text:



Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2006). Teaching and Learning Multiliteracies: Changing Times, Changing Literacies. Australia: International Reading Association.

Armstrong, V., Barnes, S., Sutherland, R., Curran, S., Mills, S., & Thompson, I. (2005). Collaborative Research Methodology for Investigating Teaching and Learning: The Use of Interactive Whiteboard Technology. Educational Review, 57(4), 457-469.

Baker, E. A., Pearson, P. D., & Rozendal, M. S. (2010). Theoretical Perspectives and Literacy Studies: An Exploration of Roles and Insights. In E. A. Baker (Ed.), The New Literacies (pp. 1-22). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Basu, S. J., Barton, A. C., & Tan, E. (2011). Democratic Science Teaching: Building the Expertise to Empower Low-Income Minority Youth in Science: Building the Expertise to Empower Low-income Minority Youth in Science (Vol. 3): Springer Science & Business Media.

Benson, S. (2008). A Restart of What Language Arts is: Bringing Multimodal Assignments into Secondary Language Arts. Journal of Advanced Academics, 19, 634-674.

Bezemer, J., & Kress, G. (2008). Writing in Multimodal Texts: A Social Semiotic Account of Designs for Learning. Written Communication, 25, 166-195.

Bennett, W. D. "Multimodal Representation Contributes to the Complex Development of Science Literacy in a College Biology Class." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) Thesis, University of Iowa, 2011.

Bomer, R. (2008). Literacy Classrooms: Making Minds Out of Multimodal Material. In J. Flood, S. Heath, & D. Lapp (Eds.), Handbook on Teaching Literacy Through the Communicative and Visual Arts. (Vol. II) (pp. 441-453). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Brandstetter, M., Sandmann, A., & Florian, C. (2017). Understanding pictorial information in biology: students’ cognitive activities and visual reading strategies. International Journal of Science Education, 39(9), 1218-1237.

Brown, J. C., & Crippen, K. J. (2017). The knowledge and practices of high school science teachers in pursuit of cultural responsiveness. Science Education, 101(1), 99-133.

Bulut, B., Ulu, H., & Kan, A. (2015). Multimodal literacy scale: A study of validity and reliability. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, (61).

Carney, R. N., & Levin, J. R. (2002). Pictorial illustrations still improve students' learning from text. Educational psychology review, 14(1), 5-26.

Carrington, V. (2005). New Textual Landscapes, Information and Early Literacy. In J. Marsh (Ed.), Popular Culture, New Media and Digital Literacy in Early Childhood (pp. 13–27). London: Routledge Falmer.

Clairy, D., Kigotho, M., & Torning, M. B. (2013). Harnessing Mobile Technologies to Enrich Adolescents’ Multimodal Literacy Practices in Middle Years Classrooms. Literacy Learning: the Middle Years. 21-3.

Cobley, P. (Ed.). (2005). The Routledge Companion to Semiotics and Linguistics. Routledge. London,UK.

Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. In Y. Engeström, R. Miettenen, & R.-L. Punamaki (Eds.), Perspectives on activity theory (pp. 19–38). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2000). Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and Design of Social Futures. New York, NY: Routledge.

Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Method: Choosing Among Five Approaches. Sage Publications, London, UK.

Danielsson, K. (2013). Multimodal Literacy i Klassrummet. Möjligheter och Begränsningar [Multimodal Literacy in the Classroom. Possibilities and Constraints]. In Skjelbred, D., & Veum (red.), Literacy i Læringskontekster. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, pp. 120–136.

Caglayan, N. H. Z. (2017). Hitit Uygarlığında Semiyotik Yaklaşımlar ve Seramiklerin Üzerine Uygulanışı. (Yayımlanmamış Yüksek Lisans Tezi). Marmara Üniversitesi, Güzel Sanatlar Enstitüsü, İstanbul.

Carney, R. N., & Levin, J. R. (2002). Pictorial illustrations still improve students' learning from text. Educational psychology review, 14(1), 5-26.

Chang, N. (2017) “Appropriate integration of children’s drawings in the acquisition of science concepts”. In P. Katz (Ed.). Drawing for Science Education. An international perspective. Rotterdam: Sense. pp. 135-146

Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2000). Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and design of social futures. New York, NY: Routledge.

Daly, A., & Unsworth, L. (2011). Analysis and comprehension of multimodal texts. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, 34(1), 61.

Danielsson, K., & Selander, S (2016). Reading Multimodal Texts for Learning – a Model for Cultivating Multimodal Literacy. Designs for Learning, 8(1), 25–36.

Dierkes, M., & Von Grote, C. (2005). Between understanding and trust: the public, science and technology. Routledge.

diSessa, A. (2004). Metarepresentation: Native competence and targets for instruction. Cognition and Instruction, 22, 293–331. doi:10.1207/s1532690xci2203_2

Duncum, P. (2004). Visual Culture isn't Just Visual: Multiliteracy, Multimodality and Meaning. Studies in Art Education, 45, 252-264.

Edwards, G. C. (2010). The Multimodal Writing Process: Changing Practices in Contemporary Classrooms. Language and Education, 25, 1, 49-64.

Erduran, S., & Dagher, Z. R. (2014). Reconceptualizing nature of science for science education. In Reconceptualizing the nature of science for science education (pp. 1-18). Springer, Dordrecht.

Fei, V. L., O’Holloran, K. L., Tan, S., & Marissa, K. L. E. (2015). Teaching Visual Texts With the Multimodal Analysis Software. Education Tech Research Dev, 63, 915–935.

Fredlund, T., Airey, J., & Linder, C. (2015). Enhancing the possibilities for learning: Variation of disciplinary-relevant aspects in physics representations. European Journal of Physics, 36(5), 055001.

Galison, P., & Jones, C. A. (2014). Picturing science, producing art. Routledge.

Gebre, E. H., & Polman, J. L. (2016). Developing Young Adults' Representational Competence Through İnfographic-Based Science News Reporting. International Journal of Science Education, 1–21.

Gilbert, J. K., & Eilam, B. (2014). Developing science teachers’ representational competence and its impact on their teaching. In Science teachers’ use of visual representations (pp. 315-329). Springer, Cham.

Goswami, U. (2011). A Temporal Sampling Framework for Developmental Dyslexia. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15(1), 3-10.

Guiraund, P. (1994). Göstergebilim (3. Basım). Ankara: İmge Yayınları.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as Social Semiotic: The Social İnterpretation of Language and Meaning. London: Edward Arnold.

Hand, B. (2008). Science Inquiry, Argument and Language. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Hawisher, G. E., Selfe, C. L., Moraski, B., & Pearson, M. (2004). Becoming Literate in the Information Age: Cultural Ecologies and the Literacies of Technology. College Composition and Communication, 55(4), 642-692.

Herrlinger, S., Höffler, T. N., Opfermann, M., & Leutner, D. (2017). When do pictures help learning from expository text? Multimedia and modality effects in primary schools. Research in Science Education, 47(3), 685-704.

Jewitt, C., Kress, G., Ogborn, J., & Tsatsarelis, C. (2001). Exploring Learning Through Visual, Actional and Linguistic Communication: The Multimodal Environment of a Science Classroom. Educational Review, 53(1), 5-18.

Jewitt, C. & Kress, G. (2003). Multimodal Literacy. New York: P. Lang.

Jewitt, C. (2002). The Move from Page to Screen: the Multimodal Reshaping of School English. Visual Communication, 1(2), 171-195.

Jewitt, C. (2007). A Multimodal Perspective on Textuality and Contexts. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 15(3), 275-289.

Jewitt, C. (2008). Multimodality and Literacy in School Classrooms. Review of Research in Education, 32, 241-267.

Jewitt, C. (2009). Introduction. In C. Jewitt (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis (pp. 1–7). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Jewitt, C. (2012). Multimodal Teaching and Learning. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics.

Jewitt, C. (2013). Multimodal Methods for Researching Digital Technologies. The SAGE Handbook of Digital Technology Research, 250.

Klein, R. K. & Shinas, V. H. (2012). 21st Century Literacies in Teacher Education: Investigating Multimodal Texts in the Context of an Online Graduate-Level Literacy and Technology Course. Research in the Schools, 19(1), 60-74.

Kozma, R., & Russell, J. (2005). Students becoming chemists: Developing representational competence.

Krause, M. B., (2015), "Facilitating a Transdisciplinary Approach in Teacher Education Through Multimodal Literacy and Cognitive Neuroscience" Graduate Theses and Dissertations. http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/etd/5718

Kress, G., & Van Leeuwen, T. (1996). Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge.

Kress, G. & Van Leeuwen, T. (2001). Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kress, G., Jewitt, C., Ogborn, J., & Tsatsarelis, C. (2001). Multimodal Teaching and Learning: the Rhetorics of the Science Classroom: London: Continuum.

Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the New Media Age. London, England: Routledge.

Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication. New York, NY: Routledge.

Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). An application of hierarchical kappa-type statistics in the assessment of majority agreement among multiple observers. Biometrics, 363-374.

Lemke, J. L. (1998). Multimedia Literacy Demands of the Scientific Curriculum. Linguistics and Education, 10, 247–271.

Lemke, J. (2004). The Literacies of Science. Crossing Borders in Literacy and Science Instruction: Perspectives on Theory and Practice, 33-47.

Leu Jr, D. J., Castek, J., Coiro, J., Gort, M., Henry, L. A., & Lima, C. O. (2004). Developing new literacies among multilingual learners in the elementary grades. In a colloquium as part of the Technology in Support of Young Second Language Learners Project at the University of California Office of the President, under flagrant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Palo Alto, California.

Lotherington, H., & Jenson, J. (2011). Teaching Multimodal and Digital Literacy in L2 Settings: New Literacies, New Basics, New Pedagogies. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 31, 226-246.

Luke, A. (2003). Literacy and the Other: A Sociological Approach to literacy Research and Policy in Multilingual Societies. Reading Research Quarterly, 132-141.

Manghi, D., & Cordova, J. P. (2011). Definiciones Y Explicaciones Multimodales: Potencial Semiótico En La Enseñanza De La Biología En Educación Media Multimodal. Definitions and Explanations: Semiotic Potential in Teaching Biology in Secondary School. Logos: Revista de Lingüística, Filosofía y Literatura, 21(2), 17-39.

Martinec, R. (2000). Types of Process in Action. Semiotica, 130, 243-268.

Martinec, R. (2005). Topics in Multimodality. In R. Hasan, C. Matthiessen & J. Webster (Eds.), Continuing Discourse on Language (Vol. 1). London: Equinox

Mackey, M., & Shane, M. (2013). Critical multimodal literacies. International Handbook of Research on Children’s Literacy, Learning, and Culture, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA, 15-27.

Meneses, A., Escobar, J. P., & Véliz, S. (2018). The effects of multimodal texts on science reading comprehension in Chilean fifth-graders: text scaffolding and comprehension skills. International Journal of Science Education, 40(18), 2226-2244.

Nitz, S., Ainsworth, S. E., Nerdel, C., & Prechtl, H. (2014). Do student perceptions of teaching predict the development of representational competence and biological knowledge?. Learning and Instruction, 31, 13-22.

Nola, R., & Irzik, G. (2006). Philosophy, science, education and culture (Vol. 28). Springer Science & Business Media.

Norris, S. P., & Phillips, L. M. (2003). How literacy in its fundamental sense is central to scientific literacy. Science education, 87(2), 224-240.

O'Halloran, K. L. (2000). Classroom Discourse in Mathematics: A Multisemiotic Analysis. Linguistics and Education, 10, 359-388.

Oliveira, A. W., Rivera, S., Glass, R., Mastroianni, M., Wizner, F., & Amodeo, V. (2014). Multimodal semiosis in science read-alouds: extending beyond text delivery. Research in Science Education, 44(5), 651-673.

Patron, E., Wikman, S., Edfors, I., Johansson‐Cederblad, B., & Linder, C. (2017). Teachers’ reasoning: Classroom visual representational practices in the context of introductory chemical bonding. Science Education, 101(6), 887-906.

Polkinghorne, D. E. (2005). Language and Meaning: Data Collection in Qualitative Research. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(2), 137.

Pramling, N., & Wallerstedt, C. (2009). Making Musical Sense: The Multimodal Nature of Clarifying Musical Listening. Music Education Research, 11, 135- 151.

Rıfat, M. (1992). Göstergebilimin ABC’si (1. Basım). İstanbul: Simavi Yayınları.

Rifat, M. (2018). Homo semioticus ve genel göstergebilim sorunları. Yapı Kredi Yayınları. İstanbul

Rowsell, J. (2013). Working with Multimodality: Rethinking Literacy in a Digital Age. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis.

Schnotz, W., Ludewig, U., Ullrich, M., Horz, H., McElvany, N., & Baumert, J. (2014). Strategy Shifts during Learning From Texts and Pictures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(4), 974–989

Sebeok, T. A., & Danesi, M. (2012). The Forms of Meaning: Modeling Systems Theory and Semiotic Analysis (Vol. 1). Walter de Gruyter.

Selman, A. (2014). Working with Multimodality: Rethinking Literacy in a Digital Age by J. Rowsell. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 9(1), 96-98.

Serafini, F. (2010). Reading Multimodal Texts: Perceptual, Structural and Ideological Perspectives. Children's Literature in Education, 41(2), 85-104.

Shanahan, L. E. (2013). Composing “Kid-Friendly” Multimodal Text When Conversations, Instruction, and Signs Come Together. Written Communication, 30(2), 194-227.

Siry, C., & Max, C. (2013). The collective construction of a science unit: Framing curricula as emergent from kindergarteners’ wonderings. Science Education, 97(6), 878-902.

Stieff, M. (2011). Improving representational competence using molecular simulations embedded in inquiry activities. Journal of research in science teaching, 48(10), 1137-1158.

Tang, S. K. (2015). Reconceptualising Science Education Practices from New Literacies Research. Science Education International. 26(3), 307-324.

Tang, K-S., Delgado, C., & Moje, E. B. (2014). An Integrative Framework for the Analysis of Multiple and Multimodal Representations for Meaningmaking in Science Education. Science Education, 98(2), 305–326.

The New London Group. (1996). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-93.

Tippett, C. D. (2018). What recent research on diagrams suggests about learning with rather than learning from visual representations in science. International Journal of Science Education, 38(5), 725-746.

Treagust, D. F., & Tsui, C. Y. (Eds.). (2013). Multiple representations in biological education. Springer Science & Business Media.

Unsworth, L. (2001). Teaching Across the Curriculum. Changing Contexts of Text and Image in the Classroom Practice. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Waldrip, B., & Prain, V. (2017). Engaging students in learning science through promoting creative reasoning. International Journal of Science Education, 39(15), 2052-2072.

Walsh, M. (2010.). Multimodal Literacy. What does it Mean for Classroom Practice? Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 33 (3), 211–239.

van der Veen, J. (2012). Draw your physics homework? Art as a path to understanding in physics teaching. American Educational Research Journal, 49(2), 356–407.

Van Leeuwen, T. (1998). Music and Ideology: Notes toward a Sociosemiotics of Mass Media Music. Popular Music and Society, 22(4), 25-54.

Van Leeuwen, T. (2005). Introducing Social Semiotics. Psychology Press.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v0i0.2728


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 M. Davut Gül, Zekai Ayık, Bayram Coştu

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2018. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).