A new branch of theoretical semiotics --EDUSEMIOTICS --will be formally launched at the 12th World congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS) in Sofia, 16-20 September 2014, New Bulgarian University. Please join the discussion on edusemiotics following the links on the IASS website: http://semio2014.org/en/home Edusemiotics is a new direction in educational philosophy and theory. As a novel concept, it first appeared in the book Semiotics Education Experience (2010) followed by The Edusemiotics of Images: Essays on the Art~Science of Tarot (2013); as well as in a number of book chapters, journal articles and conference presentations. Edusemiotics is currently a subject of research of the International Semiosis & Education network: https://wwwedu.oulu.fi/semed/ This collegial research will be reflected in the books-in-contract "Edusemiotics" (Routledge) and "Pedagogy and Edusemiotics" (Sense Publishers); as well as in the special issue of the IASS journal SEMIOTICA.
EDUSEMIOTICS panel at the IASS 2014, Sofia
CHAIR: Inna Semetsky email@example.com
1. Inna Semetsky firstname.lastname@example.org
Introducing edusemiotics as a new direction in philosophy of education: what are its defining characteristics?
Contemporary education continues to suffer from the ghosts of the past -- Cartesian dualism and scientific method of modernity – that affect its theoretical foundations and research methods. Edusemiotics creates a new direction in educational theory and philosophy of education as grounded in the logic of signs. It draws from the intellectual legacy of Peirce, Dewey, Deleuze, Kristeva, Derrida, Greimas, Frankfurt School and other, at first sight different, thinkers. Overcoming dualisms is a distinguishing feature of the “edusemiotic turn” in education, together with other defining characteristics to be offered for discussion in this introduction.
2. Andrew Stables Andrew.Stables@roehampton.ac.uk
Edusemiotics as Process Semiotics: towards a new model of semiosis for learning and teaching
We start with the most basic philosophical question: what can we be most sure of? Answer: that the sign is a sign, evoking a response and defined by its relation to other signs. At the presemiotic level we may surmise that there are forces and energy that create or comprise signs, but not necessarily that there are any fixed entities, either material or conceptual. In complete opposition to Aristotle's search for the primary substance - the unmoved mover - process metaphysics assumes that the objects of our consciousness, both material and psychological, are the patterns we make of flows of energy. Substance is a temporary effect of process, not vice versa. Our experience, therefore, of all living, including 'learning', is of implication in processes, the identifiable features of which are signs. Each implication is different, so our phenomenal worlds overlap but do not coincide. This perspective has inter alia radical implications for theories of learning and teaching.
3. Sergio Alejandro Rodriguez Jerrez email@example.com
Education policies for Standardization of knowledge in education in Colombia: A semiotic analysis.
The paper is a semiotic analysis of the discourses in Education Policies in Colombia around tests measuring quality in secondary education. This work is the result of a research involving over 14 universities. The theoretical framework is focused to the development of methodologies from discourse analysis of semiotics. The theoretical framework revolves around meaning, discourse ethics, and social construction of interpretive imagination. The discussion centers on conflicting dynamics of interpretation in various academic contexts in Colombia. In conclusion, what is sought is a critical contribution to Colombia’s educational phenomenon, from a semiotic methodology, leading to the consolidation of systemic-functional processes in the research in education (those involving the teaching of reading and writing).
4. Eetu Pikkarainen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Signs, Meanings and Competences: Ontology of Action Theoretical Semiotics
From Peircean perspective, signs are ubiquitous and not restricted to human mental sphere. The European traditions of semiotics concentrate on meaning making. Edusemiotics postulates that the meanings depend on education or learning as the change in, and the creation of, habits in the process of semiosis. But the basic conception of sign or semiosis does not demonstrate why semiosis may take place differently for differently educated persons. This paper develops the conception of semiosis and signification with regard to the competence (or habits) of the experiencing subject of the meaning. Such task requires the explication of the ontological basis of semiosis - a step often perceived as dangerous by semioticians or ignored by educators.
5. Mariana Bockarova email@example.com
On the Selling of Knowledge: The Edusemiotics of Advertising
This paper seeks to explore an edusemiotic perspective on school advertising campaign. It suggests that advertising is a provocative form of sharing and transmitting knowledge, hence represents a form of "education". Within the scope of theoretical semiotics, the paper draws on the philosophies of Peirce, Dewey, and Whitehead and presents one case study (based on research conducted in Brazil's Red Balloon Schools’ that analysed their advertising) as a critique of the limited view of multiliteracies and the stance taken on linguistic imperialism.
6. Alin Olteanu firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning and loving: Applying Peirce’s Agapistic Evolution to Education
The paper develops 3 arguments: that learning is the passage from Icon to Argument (in Peircean terminology); that learning is the Universe’s way of self-discovery through life-forms; that learning can only be fulfilled in self-denying love for the other. Following Peirce, the only growth of knowledge that can occur in a teacher-student situation is posited as based on and manifested in agapistic evolutionary love. Accordingly learning can be described in stages corresponding to 3 modes of evolution: (1) chance, consisting in the random play of musement; (2) necessity, consisting in experimentation (the teacher’s imposition, shifting focus from the student’s random play to specific objects; and (3) agapism, consisting in the transcendence of chance and necessity into creative love. The paper concludes by problematising the philosophical criteria for a teacher-student relation.
7. Christiane Moro Christiane.Moro@unil.ch
Meaning-making processes and signs via objects-artifacts at the heart of early childhood development
This paper considers Peirce’s philosophy as semiotics in tandem with Vygotsky’s cultural psychology in the context of infants development. A culture-based conception of early development is linked to signs. Education through signs is the condition of possibility for development, leading to the appropriation of public meanings related to the conventional use of objects-artifacts by infants. Vygotsky inaugurated a new pragmatic and semiotic approach to development, but only from the onset of language, considering that prelinguistic development was biologically-based. In contrast, our research highlights the evidence of a pragmatic and semiotic conception through objects-artifacts and their conventional uses at prelinguistic level. Our work highlights the intertwined relations between two developmental lines which are traditionally considered as separate in mainstream psychology, those of cognition and communication. We develop our epistemological and methodological arguments for an edusemiotic perspective on psychological development (reflecting also on the « material turn ») while highlighting how Peirce’s philosophy allows to make the processes of construction of signs and meaning-making visible.
8. Sebastien Pesce email@example.com
Have the XXth century “leading pedagogues” been “naïve” edusemioticians?
Edusemiotics is a novel philosophical framework for education – the area where theory and practice are intertwined. But sometimes when a theory is transferred into practice, analogous implementations may have existed earlier. Do educational philosophers “invent” what already has been practiced by “naïve” theorists? This consistency between semiotics as educational foundation and some innovative practices may be the sign that both philosophers and “leading pedagogues”, through their respective epistemologies, have done their job particularly well. To what extent can we find in some educational practices (e.g. by “researchers-practitioners” Freire, Freinet, or Oury) the traces of edusemiotics? I explore the hypothesis that these pedagogues, through trials and errors, designed ways of teaching consistent with cognition as it is – and not with cognition as it is thought to be by the supporters of dualisms and those viewing education as direct transmission of existing knowledge.
10. Waldmir Araujo-Neto firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosângela Silva email@example.com
Situated Representation Processes During Tools Interaction: a call for understanding incompleteness in education
The notion of representation, historically, appears to indicate a confluence between philosophy and semiotics. Although the representational practice in education tends towards correspondence or failure, representation keeps its place as a key process for meaning-making in classroom activities. This paper focuses on the use of signs as mediational tools. We address the incomplete nature of signs and its role during representation processes in classrooms. The theoretical framework derives from two paradigms, L. Vygotsky’s socio-cultural perspective and E. Cassirer’s concept of symbolic forms. The methodology uses audio-visual recordings of teacher-training classes in a Brazilian university with the focus on ten episodes highlighting signs as tools (movies; gestures; etc). We argue that “incompleteness” is a key component in the semiotic movement from expressive to symbolic. We also stress that the epistemic virtues of inaccurate representations often extend beyond their mere contextual adequacy. We explore the hypothesis that an “a priori representational inaccuracy” could be overcome and offer “representation of representation” as required schemata in situated educational processes.
11. Vanessa Carvalho dos Santos (firstname.lastname@example.org)
João Queiroz (email@example.com)
Semiotic Multimodality: Implications for Science EducationLanguage is widely taken to be the dominant mode of representation and communication in teaching and learning and in the mainstream classroom research. This mono-modal perspective neglects the variety of semiotic modes and vehicles which are dynamically coordinated. Based on Peirce’s semiotic theory, we specify a model examining the semiotic ‘coupling’ between several sign systems: verbo-gestural, verbo-diagrammatic, diagrammatic-acoustic. Our aim is to classify and analyse the morphological variety of the sign systems’ interactions. This approach describes the processes in the classroom in which new insights abductively emerge as a property of the interaction of coordinated semiotic modalities. This emergence indicates that a student – as an interpreter who is locally (materially, socially and culturally) situated -- makes new concepts and meanings when s/he works with and manipulates signs, entities and semiotic artifacts.
12. Jeoffrey Gaspard firstname.lastname@example.org
Semiotics of online texts presenting European universities: making sense of discursive regularities
This paper discusses some online promotional texts presenting French-speaking European public universities. We suggest these descriptive texts (a particular academic institution being the semiotic object or reference) combine homogenizing generic and interdiscursive regularities that assure the control of interpretation: on the one hand, generic regularities show that specific social practices of promoting universities online produce a genre that is highly patterned (when it comes to repeated segments and expressions, frequent syntactic structures, etc.); on the other hand, interdiscursive regularities show that the descriptive procedure at play mobilizes an exogenous discourse that is ideological in nature (i.e. European political discourse on higher education and research) and therefore mirrors the changing sociopolitical context and the universe of discourse in which particular universities are embedded. Specifically, the paper suggests that the conceptual tools originally developed by the traditional continental École française d’analyse du discours and by Bakhtinian philosophy of language (dialogism, interdiscours, communicative situation, etc.) deserve to be investigated in light of Charles S. Peirce's semiotics.
13 & 14. General meeting of Semiotics & Education Network // all IASS members are INVITED to participate.
In this session we will discuss the purpose of edusemiotics as a new branch of theoretical semiotics at the intersection with philosophy of education. We will discuss possible future avenues for research, development, and the dissemination of results. If time permits, we would also look into edusemiotics along some other lines of a semiotic rhizome (existential semiotics, biosemiotics, etc).