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Abstract Title: Speciation of energy concepts through speech and gesture in interaction
Abstract: When energy is added to a liquid to evaporate it, what is the form of energy in the gas?  Is it thermal energy, which is indicated by temperature? Is it chemical energy, which is indicated by chemical composition of a substance? [1] Maybe something else?  In a summer professional development course in the Energy Project [2] at Seattle Pacific University, secondary teachers posed this question while cooperating in Energy Theater [3] in order to figure out the energy transfers and transformations in a real refrigerator. Their negotiation of the name of this form of energy boiled down to a discussion of the difference between kinetic and potential energy.  We show how the speech and gesture that mediated the negotiation display different levels of distinction of energy concepts among the teachers, and we suggest how dynamic refinement, or speciation, of these concepts might be promoted strategically in instruction.

1. http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/index.php
2. Supported in part by NSF DRL 0822342
3. Scherr, R. E., Close, H. G., McKagan, S. B., & Close, E. W. (2010) Energy Theater: Using the body symbolically to understand energy. In C. Singh, M. Sabella, & S. Rebello (Eds.) 2010 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings. Melville, NY: AIP Press.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster

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Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Hunter Close
Texas State University - San Marcos
San Marcos, TX 78666
and Co-Presenter(s)
Rachel E. Scherr, Seattle Pacific University