Publication by Tamer Amin, EURIAS Fellow 2016/2017


Conceptual Metaphor and Embodied Cognition in Science Learning
Special Issue of the International Journal of Science Education, Volume 37, Issue 5-6, 2015 
Guest Editors: Tamer G. Amin, Fredrik Jeppsson & Jesper Haglund

This special issue brings together a collection of eight articles and three commentaries dealing with the theme of Conceptual Metaphor and Embodied Cognition in Science Learning. The contributions explore how basic experiences of bodily interaction with the physical world lead to the formation of experiential knowledge structures which, in turn, ground the understanding of abstract scientific concepts like heat, energy and entropy. Metaphorical mapping is central to this process of grounding understanding of abstract technical knowledge. These metaphorical mappings are often reflected in the language of science, the diagrams used to represent and communicate scientific ideas, and the gestures used by scientists during informal conversation and instruction. The papers in the issue address themes such as how narrative is central to scientific modeling, how language can mislead learners to classify scientific concepts in the wrong ontological category, how metaphor is used implicitly by scientists as they engage in problem solving, how language, diagrams and gestures can be analyzed to reveal these metaphors, the implications of all this for understanding the process of concept learning and how effective instruction can be designed once we recognize the embodied nature of apparently abstract knowledge.