Evaluation of a model for teaching analogies in secondary science.
MetadataShow full item record
Analogies have long been tools of discovery in mathematics and science, and are often used in the classroom as explanatory devices to help students understand difficult science concepts. However, research has shown that for many students, analogies engender misconceptions rather than scientists' science. It is believed that misconceptions arise when students reconstruct their knowledge within the context of their prior conceptions, and that misconceptions arise whenever the student has a different conception of the analog to the teacher or the student applies the analogy beyond its limits.The literature is richly endowed with descriptions of how it is thought that analogies generate meaning and contain a range of suggestions for improving classroom pedagogy when analogies are used. Five teaching models have been identified which claim to improve analogical instruction, and one of these, the teaching-with-analogies (TWA) model (Glynn, 1989) has been modified at the Science and Mathematics Education Centre of Curtin University for use in secondary science classrooms. To date, no empirical studies have been performed to determine the efficacy of this modified TWA model.This study set out to evaluate the modified TWA model in a qualitative interpretive manner by observing teachers, who had been in-serviced about the model, using analogies in their lessons. Data were generated from the verbatim transcripts of each teacher's in-class performance, each teacher's post-lesson interview and interviews with a number of the students who received the analogical instruction. The emergent data were interpreted from a constructivist perspective with attention being given to credibility, dependability and confirmability.The data derived from one teacher teaching four analogies to Year 8 and 10 science students were reported in this thesis. Three of these analogies were taught using the modified TWA model and these analogies were, light waves are like water waves, conduction of heat in a solid is like the domino effect and the refraction of light as it passes from air into perspex is like a pair of wheels rolling from a smooth surface onto a rough surface. The fourth analogy in which the size of a mole was illustrated using three brief analogies was reported only briefly because the teacher failed to use the modified TWA model during this lesson.The study's findings demonstrated that student understanding of difficult science concepts did appear to be enhanced by the use of the modified TWA model when analogies were included in the lesson. For analogies to be effective, it is believed that two teacher activities are essential: firstly, ensuring that the students understand the analog in the same way as the teacher and secondly, that the unshared attributes of the analogy are highlighted during the lesson. It is also asserted that an exemplary teacher, teaching-in-field, can integrate the modified TWA model into her teaching if she is provided with peer support over at least three to four uses of the model during normal lessons. It appears that maintenance of the TWA model within a teacher's pedagogy requires a supportive colleague to provide critical feedback and encouragement.This study raised some important questions that should be addressed in future research on the use of the modified TWA model. Can the modified TWA model produce conceptual change where alternative student conceptions are firmly entrenched? Can the modified TWA model be incorporated into the pedagogy of most teachers? Is there a more appropriate model for teaching-with-analogies?
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Conceptual change in secondary chemistry : the role of multiple analogical models of atoms and molecules.Harrison, Allan G. (1996)Chemistry textbooks and teachers frequently use a variety of metaphors, analogies and models to describe atomic and molecular structures and processes. While it is widely believed that multiple analogical models encourage ...
Use of concept maps to improve Saudi pre-service teachers' knowledge and perception of teaching social studiesAlansari, Widad Musleh (2010)This study investigated the influence of using concept mapping as a teaching and learning tool on Saudi Pre-Service teachers' knowledge of teaching social studies. It also investigated Saudi Pre-Service teachers' perceptions ...
Professional development in HIV prevention education for teachers using flexible learning and tutor supportJackson, Glenda Joy (2004)HIV prevention programs in schools are acknowledged as one of the best prospects for controlling the world HIV epidemic. Epidemiological evidence indicates that deaths world-wide from AIDS are yet to peak. Although HIV ...