Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 15, Issue 2, Article 2 (Dec., 2014)
Visualization in research and science teachers’ professional development

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In line with the research progress in science, science teaching and learning involve conceptual relationships on macroscopic, microscopic and symbolic levels, especially in chemistry (e.g. Gabel, Samuel, & Hunn, 1987; Johnstone, 1982) and molecular life sciences (e.g. Gilbert, 2008; Rundgren, Hirsch, Chang Rundgren, & Tibell, 2012). Visual communication, for example, showing graphs and simulation as well as using concept mapping in the classroom, is one of the important and effective strategies in promoting student learning and assessing student understanding in science education ( Chang, 2007; Rundgren, Chang Rundgren, & Schönborn, 2010; Vavra et al., 2011). However, the limitations of different visual representations have also been revealed in science education research and these call for further attention (Cook, 2006; Glazer, 2011; Tibell & Rundgren, 2010). Hence, in this article, we present the roles that visualization plays in science education and propose a number of aspects that we need to consider in developing teachers’ professional knowledge based on visualization research in science education. In addition, since the terms of visualization, representation and model have been used in science education during the past decades without clear differentiation, it is necessary to address the sameness and differences of these terms at the beginning of this article to provide a common ground for our discussion.


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