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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

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Towards applied semiotics: An analysis of iconic gestural signs regarding physics teaching in the light of theatre semiotics

Panagiotis Pantidos1 / Kostas Valakas2 / Evangelos Vitoratos3 / Konstantinos Ravanis4





Citation Information: Semiotica. Volume 2008, Issue 172, Pages 201–231, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: 10.1515/SEMI.2008.095, November 2008

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This study seeks to profit from theatre semiotics in order to investigate how semiosis can be implemented in the teaching of physics. It is based on the notion that in most human meaning-making situations, semiotic resources such as acoustic, spatial, and kinesic sign-systems evolve so as to complement and supplement one another. Traditionally, this particular view derives from theatre, where the signs conveyed from the theatrical performance effectively contribute to the construction of meaning; in terms of expression of dramatic signs, the actor is trained to compose modes in order to shape them on the stage. This article provides a classification of iconic gestural signs (i.e., movements of the entire body as opposed to gestures as mere movements of the hands), concerning physics teaching within a theatrical kinesic context. Through certain examples, corporeal functions and types are identified according to their cooperation with spatial semiotic resources, their temporal definition of actions, their proximity to the form of the referent, their relation to the content of the referent, and their collaboration with utterances. Furthermore, it is suggested that the practical implementation of theatre semiotics in physics education could help create a common, distinct and ‘tangible’ language among researchers, educators, and students.

Keywords:: iconic; semiotics; gestural signs; teaching; physics; theatre

Citing Articles

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Evagelia Herakleioti and Panagiotis Pantidos
Research in Science Education, 2016, Volume 46, Number 1, Page 21
SungWon Hwang and Wolff-Michael Roth
Research in Science Education, 2011, Volume 41, Number 4, Page 461
Panagiotis Pantidos, Kostas Valakas, Evangelos Vitoratos, and Kostantinos Ravanis
Semiotica, 2010, Volume 2010, Number 182

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