Labyrinth Research Bibliography

Bibliography of Studies Related to Labyrinth Research (.pdf 517K)

This downloadable Bibliography has all entries sorted by author. The entries in the bibliography have been categorized below by topic and also by type (doctoral dissertation, journal article etc.).

Negotiating the labyrinth: Semiotics and the making of meaning

Barton, G. K.

Semiotics, or the science of signs and their interpretation, is both helpful and relevant for those interested in gaining insight into the meaning-making process. Because the study of signs addresses every form of meaning relevant to classroom learning, an understanding of semiotics provides a valuable tool for examining the way students create meaning. It can accommodate an investigation of linguistic and non-linguistic symbol systems, and the social aspects involved in producing and interpreting these symbols.

This dissertation begins by summarizing behaviorist, constructivist, and phenomenonological approaches to the creation of meaning. It then analyzes the meaning-making process from several related semiotic approaches. The paper undertakes a summary of De Saussure's work on the relationship between the signifier and the signified. It next proceeds to a discussion of Lamb's ideas regarding stratificational linguistics and cognitive semiotics, emphasizing the importance of relational networks in the creation of meaning. The study then analyzes Eco's work in descriptive semiotics, and demonstrates its linkages and similarities to Lamb's theories. All of these ideas are related to the social and functional creation of meaning, through tracing their connections to Halliday's ideas on language acquisition, and Berger and Luckman's theories on the social construction of reality.

The intent of this study is to improve our understanding of the complex processes involved in the creation of meaning through a re-analysis and synthesis of existing semiotic theory. Helping students create meaning requires more than modified teaching methodologies. It involves a labyrinth of interpretations, demanding non-linear, or divergent, approaches to thinking in relation to experience. Through understanding the complexities involved in creating meaning, we will begin to provide classrooms which recognize the indeterminate nature of meaning and actively encourage students to negotiate the processes of their own thought in order to arrive at personal understanding.

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