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Discourse and Communication in Science Education

Series editor: Pei-Ling Hsu

Discourse and Communication in ScienceEducationexamines the language use and discursive practice in science education.


Teaching and learning is a complex process. No matter what the content is, you need to learn it through language, either by oral, written, visual, or body language. In order, to understand how you can teach or learn effectively, it is important to understand how people use language in different educational settings. Especially, as informed by Lev Vygotsky’s theory on cognitive development, one’s higher cognition, such as critical thinking, must be developed through social interactions with others through language.  


Learning science means being able to speak, talk, write, and communicate the language of science.  The language of science has its own characteristics and features that are different than other disciplines. For example, in science, you need to develop scientific reasoning that is evidence-based and has its own logic. Scientific jargon and terminologies that contain technical and professional meanings for scientific phenomena are also a common feature for the language of science and are challenging to learn for most learners. 


How to help learners use the language of science successfully and effectively is, therefore, an important mission for science educators. Researchers have investigated diverse topics to better understand the discourse and communication in science education, such as science inquiry discourse, argumentation, storytelling, interpretative repertoires, scientific reasoning, meaning-making, analogies and metaphors, evidence-based explanations, multiple representations, and dialogical teaching. Especially, if science educators would like to cultivate student-centered learning environments, we must learn how to empower and encourage students’ agencies in talking, writing, and using the language of science. That is, being able to facilitate productive discourse and communications in science learning environments has become an important practice in science teaching.     


The series Discourse and Communication in Science Educationaims to feature work on the theoretical and pragmatic questions on the language use in science education and invite readers to think and rethink how teachers teach and learners learn through language. This series welcomes diverse forms of creative work, research, and discussions to help us understand various ways to help students learn and use the language of science.

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