Teaching About Conduction Using the Domino Analogy: A Case Study of One Teacher's Approach

Year: 1993

Author: Harrison, Allan G., Treagust, David F.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper describes an investigation in which the researchers and an expert science teacher trialed a systematic approach for teaching analogies. Science contains many abstract concepts that rely upon analogy for their explanation and while the shared attributes enhance may learning, unshared attributes may compromise student understanding. This case study examines the process for integrating an innovation into a teacher's strategy repertoire and also examines the resultant lesson from the perspective of student understanding of conduction. The lesson discourse and teacher interview were tape recorded; for the next lesson the students completed an analogy mapping exercise and selected students were interviewed. Analysis of the resultant data suggests that student understanding approaches the desired outcome when familiar analogies are systematically presented in science.