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Abstract Title: Identifying blended ontologies for energy
Abstract: Energy is an abstract concept, but students and experts alike reason about energy using ontological metaphors: metaphors that indicate what kind of a thing energy is.  These metaphors include energy as a substance ("This object has a lot of energy") and energy as a vertical location ("It dropped down to a lower energy").  Both of these metaphors can be productive, but each one has its limitations.  In our previous work, we have shown that students and experts can productively combine the substance and location metaphors for energy and coordinate them coherently. Here, we examine instances in which students are using both metaphors, and argue that, in some cases, students blend these two separate metaphors into a single ontology for energy.  To determine this, we employ an integrated methodology, analyzing both the verbal metaphors and the gestures that the students use.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Benjamin W. Dreyfus
University of Maryland
Department of Physics
College Park, MD 20910
Phone: 917-821-2405
and Co-Presenter(s)
Ayush Gupta, University of Maryland
Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland