Reflecting on Boundary Crossings between Knowledge and Values:

A Place for Multimodal Objects in Biology Didactics?


  • Dawn Sanders University of Gothenburg, Sweden



Through a series of practice-based narratives, drawn from specific experiences in a higher-education context in Sweden, the affordances of multimodal objects are reflected upon. In this work, multimodal objects are considered as boundary objects that can facilitate learning conversations, both cognitive and affective. Current work in science education research has highlighted the role that boundary-crossings between knowledge and values offer teaching and learning. The author believes such boundary-crossings to be essential in the current context of prolific species extinction, on a planet in which human-made materials now outweigh the living biomass; a planet in which life, death, self and other are ‘braided vulnerabilities’ across a complex socio-biological landscape. Thus, in these iterative, practice-based reflections on specific teaching moments, this paper offers small steps towards reimagining biology didactics in the ‘post-normal’ conditions of the 21st century. In so doing, possibilities for multimodal objects in contemporary biology didactics are reflected upon and suggested.