How Effective Is the Use of Analogies in Science Textbooks?

Chapter

Abstract

Science instructors and textbook authors often use analogies – both oral and textual – to help students learn new concepts. Textual analogies, in particular, are an omnipresent learning resource that students can consult when a teacher is not available to make new information more understandable. Additionally, because textbook authors can devote time and thought to constructing them, textual analogies have the potential of being more complete and explicit than oral analogies. However, research shows that many textual analogies are not explained appropriately or in enough detail to be helpful to students. In this chapter, I review the research literature about the use of analogies in science textbooks, focusing on the potential learning effects of textual analogies and the factors related to effective analogy use. I then summarize the results of several published analyses of analogy use in science textbooks and describe two classroom teaching models that could be used to promote the effective use of analogies in science textbooks.

Keywords

Preservice Teacher Target Domain Pictorial Representation Meaningful Learning Target Concept 
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

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA

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