GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 218-8
Presentation Time: 9:50 AM


DOLPHIN, Glenn1, DROBOTH, Jason2, KARCHEWSKI, Brandon2, MOLDOVEANU CONSTANTINESCU, Cristina3 and SASKO, Brolin4, (1)University of Calgary Department of Geoscience, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, CANADA, (2)University of CalgaryDepartment of Geoscience, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, CANADA, (3)Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada, (4)University of Calgary Department of Geoscience, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, CANADA

With the publishing of Lakoff and Johnson’s book, “Metaphors we live by” in the 1980s, researchers in the emergent fields of embodied cognition and cognitive linguistics have been interested in how language, and especially metaphor impacts how people think and act. This research has spread more recently into science education within the theoretical framework of conceptual metaphor theory (CMT). Conceptual metaphor is giving meaning to an abstract concept (target) in terms of a more concrete concept (source), one developed from embodied experiences. Characteristic of metaphors is that they highlight some aspects of reality while hiding others. Experts are aware of what is highlighted and hidden yet take it for granted when teaching or writing textbooks. Novices, who do not know which aspects they are supposed to consider or ignore, can interpret the metaphor in unintended ways, impeding understanding. Science education researchers have used CMT to explain how instructors teach, and how students learn. However, very little of this research has occurred within the geosciences. Our group is analyzing geoscience textbooks and social media content, using the MIPVU methodology for linguistic metaphor identification, to find direct metaphors, those used deliberately for teaching (injecting water into a balloon is like magma injected into surrounding rock formations); indirect metaphors, scientific terminology that is metaphorical (crust, tectonic plate, parent rock, daughter element), and implied metaphors, those implicit within the text and reflecting the understanding of the author. For instance, A SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENT IS A COMPETITION with opposing sides, one argument being favored to win, and compelling the opposition to believe the winning argument. We will first map out the metaphor use then try to understand its influence on communication and learning. Then, in places with problematic metaphor use, we would develop new metaphors to enhance learning outcomes.