Prediction-making in novel situations and the role of self-generated analogies

Fotou, Nikolaos and Abrahams, Ian (2018) Prediction-making in novel situations and the role of self-generated analogies. In: Hellenic Physical Society 27th Conference Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


In this paper, we report on a cross-age in which students were asked to make predictions in situations they
had not considered before (novel situations) and explain the reasons that led them to their predictions. The aim was to
investigate students’ predictions in these novel situations in terms of compatibility with the scientific account and the
role that self-generated analogies play in their reasoning. A mixed method approach was used with data being collected
through the use of written questionnaires and audio-recorded group interviews. The study sample was composed of
37, 31, 29, 35 and 34 students aged 8-9, 10-11, 11-12, 12-13 and 16-17 years respectively recruited from ten different
schools in the same geographical region of Greece. A series of semi-structured group interviews/discussions were
carried out in combination with the administration of a paper-and-pencil survey. Data were collected through the
students’ written responses in the questionnaire and those they gave during the group discussions which were taperecorded
and transcribed. These were analyzed to ascertain how they made their predictions, whether they drew on the
use of analogies, and if so, the nature of the analogies that they used. The analysis revealed similarities not only in
terms of the predictions students across the five age groups made, but also as per the reasoning process followed and
the analogies they drew on in order to familiarize themselves with the novel situations and thus make their predictions.
The use of such analogies was unrelated to their age and, in many cases, students’ analogical reasoning led them to
make predictions that were not compatible with the scientific view while. The findings of the study suggest that
teachers need to be more aware of the nature of analogies students use in their reasoning and the incorrect ideas
(misconceptions) such reasoning gives rise to. Also, more attention needs to be payed from the part of the teacher on
how, and why, reasoning on the basis of such analogies can, in many cases, lead students to an understanding
incompatible with the scientific account

Keywords:Analogies, Analogical reasoning, Prediction-making, Novel situations
Subjects:X Education > X320 Academic studies in Primary Education
X Education > X990 Education not elsewhere classified
X Education > X330 Academic studies in Secondary Education
X Education > X300 Academic studies in Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:33231
Deposited On:20 Oct 2018 21:51

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