Research in Science Education

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 208–216 | Cite as

Diagram prediction and higher order structures in mental representation

  • Richard Lowe


Predictions of the patterns likely to appear on a weather map diagram one day later than those shown on a given map were drawn by meteorologists and non-meteorologists. Differences in secondary structures of the predicted patterns with respect to the spacing and alignment of graphic elements were consistent with the existence of fundamental differences in mental representation between the subject groups. Lack of expertise in the subject domain of the diagram was associated with the production of patterns containing meteorologically-arbitrary arrangements of graphic elements. It is suggested that science instruction should include explicit consideration of the higher order structures present in diagrams.


Secondary Structure Science Instruction Mental Representation Fundamental Difference Subject Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Australasian Science Education Research Association 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Lowe
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationCurtin University of TechnologyBentley

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