Pre-service teachers’ vocabularies of the language of science in the context of learning about electrons and photons




the language of science, pre-service teachers, quantum physics, vocabulary


Teaching and learning the language of science is an important part of science education. Learning the vocabulary of science plays a key role in learning the language of science. The meaning of abstract scientific terms builds on their connections with other terms and how they are used. In this research, we study pre-service physics teachers’ physics-related vocabularies and investigate how rich a vocabulary they use and what similarities and differences there are in their vocabularies regarding electrons and photons. We investigate the connectedness of physics terms by categorizing them according to their role in explaining quantum physics and carry out a lexical network analysis for N=60 written reports. The analysis shows that vocabularies do not share much similarity and the reports reflect narrow images of photons and electrons. We conclude that science teacher education needs to pay attention to explicit teaching of the language of science for pre-service teachers.


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Vuola, K., Nousiainen, M., & Koponen, I. T. (2023). Pre-service teachers’ vocabularies of the language of science in the context of learning about electrons and photons. LUMAT: International Journal on Math, Science and Technology Education, 11(2), 1–34.