How a Specific Task Was Developed Through Multimodal Narratives

How a Specific Task Was Developed Through Multimodal Narratives

Domingos Kimpolo Nzau (Instituto de Educação em Ciência de Uíge (ISCED), Angola)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8570-1.ch004


Multimodal narratives (MNs) in the teaching of science and technology seek to report many aspects of a pedagogical nature in a complete and holistic manner. This chapter shows how six teachers of physics, from Angolan elementary education, without adequate pedagogical or academic training to teach physics, specifically the Newtonian concept of force, worked on a task during an intensive teacher training course. The MNs documents the professional development of the teachers in particular showing how they appropriated a tool (a specific didactic model) that was object of the training. The results achieved, with the help of multimodal narratives to register the occurrences in the seminar, once again reveal that MNs are as valuable a pedagogical tool in teachers' teaching practices as in their professional development (PD).
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Studies of teachers’ PD, focusing on the improvement of teaching practices, have considered a register of activities undertaken in the classroom in educational science as a valuable, powerful, and usable instrument, because it reports the teaching practices in a complete and holistic way in the MN form. According to the scholars who developed them, MNs are able to portray the events occurring in the classroom in great detail (Lopes et al., 2014).

Researching mediation in the classroom requires the didactic action to be captured as a whole; in these terms, an MN is taken as a narrative of the events that occurred in the classroom when a specific task was performed.

The different works developed in the MNs that this work presents show that these tasks are of different natures and even point out that it is imperative to take into account their pedagogical aspects, as the intention is to improve not only the teaching practices of science and technology (S&T) in schools but also other pedagogical aspects, for instance teachers’ training.

Central Idea of the Study

In the context of the continuous training of teachers, this chapter aims to show, in relation to a specific task, that MNs can also support the PD processes of physics teachers in Angolan general education, using the conceptual fields of Vergnaud (1987), in particular the Newtonian concept of force, considered as interactions between material systems.

This aspect is pointed as out one of the difficulties that students face in identifying and justifying the forces applied in material systems (Dumas-Carré & Goffard, 1997; Nzau & Costa, 1992; Viennot, 2002) in the teaching and learning process. Diagrams of objects–interactions (Dumas-Carré & Goffard, 1997), which were suggested as a didactic approach by these scholars to resolve this difficulty, were also taken into account in this study, which used MNs as a tool for data collection.


The study sought to qualify teachers for teaching practice, which many authors, such as Meirink, Meijer, Verloop, and Bergen (2009), Mushyikwa and Lubben (2009), and Starkey et al. (2009), among others, have defended as a way to overcome the weaknesses detected in teachers. It involved a group of six physics teachers in an exercise; each teacher was designated by the first letter of his or her name (M, A, B, C, P, and R), and they belonging to three schools of basic education in Cabinda Province (Angola) without adequate academic training or pedagogical principles to teach physics, namely Tando Zinze, Luvassa, and Barão Puna schools (Nzau, 2010).

The study was based on a specific didactic model of the conceptual field of Newtonian force (Nzau, 2013; Nzau, Lopes, & Costa, 2012; Pinto & Nzau, 2017) in the conceptual field models of Vergnaud (1987).

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