Multimodality, i.e., the use of various semiotic modes and their interconnections to produce different meanings, is a prevalent premise in education. Multimodal texts greatly resort to the use of images, which constitute an autonomous system of meaning-making, with particular codes and “grammar.” Science-related texts are mostly multimodal, since they rely on images as a central rhetoric means for analyzing and understanding scientific phenomena, despite the specialization of the public they are addressed to. Therefore, being able to read science-related multimodal texts and interpreting their visual elements, constitutes a crucial component of scientific literacy. This paper presents outcomes of a pilot study in a kindergarten class, which involved science activities oriented towards enhancing young children’s ability to “read” and produce images representing classifications of different types and functions: timelines, tables, Venn-diagrams, bar graphs, etc. Personal, semi-structured interviews with children, as well as children’s drawings prior to and after implementation of the activities were used to evaluate their emerging competency in using visual representations of classification. Results indicate that most children developed their ability to “read” relatively complex images, and use graphic symbols (e.g., lines, arrows), in order to represent relations between entities and classifications of different forms.
|Keywords:||Classification, Early Childhood, Science Education, Scientific Competencies, Visual Literacy|
Kindergarten Teacher, PhD Student, Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Thessaly, Greece
Professor, School of Humanities, Hellenic Open University, Patra, Achaia, Greece