"Let's pretend this [orange] is you!" : preschool children making meaning of a multimodal illustration offered at a Swedish Science Center

Title: "Let's pretend this [orange] is you!" : preschool children making meaning of a multimodal illustration offered at a Swedish Science Center
Source document: Studia paedagogica. 2015, vol. 20, iss. 4, pp. [139]-153
  • ISSN
    1803-7437 (print)
    2336-4521 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

Science centers throughout Europe offer package deals to nearby schools and preschools in order to enhance scientific education through theme-related exhibits and activities. This article focuses on a group of preschool children as they visit such a center in Sweden, where they were presented with a multimodal illustration of a life jacket. By drawing on sociocultural and multimodal perspectives, the meaning that the children made of the illustration was studied as well as the illustration itself. The analysis builds upon Engebretsen's (2012) concepts of multimodal cohesion and tension and his three interactional dimensions: material, semantic, and performative dimension. The results show that high levels of tension between and within modes in an illustration seem to obstruct the meaning-making processes for young children. The concluding reflection offers a discussion about the need for attention both to the content's accuracy and to the ways in which illustrations are presented in science centers as well as in education elsewhere.
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