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Explanatory Framework for Popular Physics Lectures Documents

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Explanatory Framework for Popular Physics Lectures 

written by Shulamit Kapon, Uri Ganiel, and Bat-Sheva Eylon

Popular physics lectures provide a 'translation' that bridges the gap between the specialized knowledge that formal scientific content is based on, and the audience's informal prior knowledge. This paper presents an overview of a grounded theory explanatory framework for Translated Scientific Explanations (TSE) in such lectures, focusing on one of its aspects, the conceptual blending cluster. The framework is derived from a comparative study of three exemplary popular physics lectures from two perspectives: the explanations in the lecture (as artifacts), and the design of the explanation from the lecturer's point of view. The framework consists of four clusters of categories: 1. Conceptual blending (e.g. metaphor). 2. Story (e.g. narrative). 3. Content (e.g. selection of level). 4. Knowledge organization (e.g. structure). The framework shows how the lecturers customized the content of the presentation to the audience's knowledge. Lecture profiles based upon this framework can serve as guides for utilizing popular physics lectures when teaching contemporary physics to learners lacking the necessary science background. These features are demonstrated through the conceptual blending cluster.

Published November 12, 2007
Last Modified December 1, 2010

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