Creative drama in chemistry education: a social semiotic approach

  • Kerstin Danckwardt-Lillieström Stockholms University
  • Maria Andrée Stockholms University
  • Margareta Enghag Stockholms University
Keywords: chemistry, creative drama, upper secondary school, design-based research


Drama is a way of teaching that has been suggested to support learning, but studies in science education are limited and the potential of using drama needs further scrutiny and design development. In this study, we investigate how creative drama may afford students’ meaning-making of abstract non-spontaneous chemical concepts related to chemical bonding, by exploring what kind of semiotic work students are engaged in when given the opportunity to use their own bodies as semiotic resources.We combine sociocultural theory of learning with multimodal social semiotic analysis. Our results show how creative drama opens up for different types of transductions and transformations that have consequences for students’ meaning-making. A conclusion is that the creative drama activities may afford student exploration of intermolecular forces in new ways in particular when students use bodily mode in combination with other semiotic resources.

Author Biography

Kerstin Danckwardt-Lillieström, Stockholms University