Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Analogies, Role in Science Learning

  • Shawn Glynn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_89-2



Science education research studies have shown that analogies, when well designed, can support students’ science learning. Well-designed science analogies can help students build conceptual bridges between what they already know and what they are setting out to learn. This entry explains what analogies are, how analogies support learning, and what form analogies should take to be effective. A research-based model for designing effective analogies is described: It provides guidelines for the use of analogies in science classrooms, textbooks, software programs, and Internet sites.

Science Education and Analogies

Analogies have often played an important role in scientific discoveries, not as proof, but as inspiration. Analogies have also played an important role in explaining those discoveries. Ernest Rutherford, for example, used an analogy when describing his experiment which led to the modern model of the...


Gravitational Force Electrical Force Target Concept Rubber Sheet Analog Concept 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ed Psych & Science EdUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA