The nature of knowledge in students’ spontaneous analogical reasoning

Fotou, Nikolaos and Abrahams, Ian (2019) The nature of knowledge in students’ spontaneous analogical reasoning. In: 2nd International Conference of Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education, 8-10 November, Cyprus.

The nature of knowledge in students’ spontaneous analogical reasoning

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The use of analogies as a productive conceptual technique used by teachers in the classroom to help their students
familiarise themselves with concepts, phenomena and situations they find abstract and difficult to understand has been well documented in the science education literature. In this paper, attention is shifted towards students’ use of analogies in reasoning about situations the have not considered before (novel situations) and the nature of knowledge they draw on in their reasoning. Data are drawn from small focus group discussions in which students aged 9-17 years were asked to make and explain their predictions about the outcome of a future event in a number of novel situations. The paper reports on the role of students’ spontaneously generated analogies in making and explaining their predictions along with the nature of knowledge they drew upon in their reasoning process. The relationship and interaction of students’ spontaneous analogical reasoning with the knowledge they drew upon is viewed here from the Knowledge-in-Pieces framework, in which knowledge is perceived as a complex system of knowledge pieces that are activated in response to a particular situation. The findings are indicative of a need to examine further students’ spontaneous analogical reasoning and how their existing knowledge affects this reasoning which, in turn, impacts on their understanding of situations they have never considered before, new concepts and unfamiliar phenomena.

Keywords:Analogies, Analogical reasoning, Knowledge in Pieces, Prediction-making
Subjects:X Education > X320 Academic studies in Primary Education
X Education > X330 Academic studies in Secondary Education
X Education > X370 Academic studies in Education (across phases)
X Education > X900 Others in Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:39112
Deposited On:06 Dec 2019 08:48

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