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    The place of analogies in science education

    Heywood, David S. (2002) The place of analogies in science education. Cambridge journal of education, 32 (2). pp. 233-247. ISSN 0305-764X

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    The role of analogy in learning has been extensively researched in science education. The core purpose of the use of analogy as a strategy deployed in teaching is that of developing understanding of abstract phenomena from concrete reference. Whilst such an objective is desirable, it is predicated on the assumption that there is an agreed interpretation of the particular phenomena under scrutiny to which all subscribe. This paper argues that such a position is untenable and that the research enterprise should shift focus from determining the effectiveness of analogy in cognitive transfer from base to target domains towards the recognition of the role of analogy in generating engagement in the learning process. In such a paradigm, meaning in science for both learner and teacher is derived from discourse rather than being independent of it. The discussion draws on hermeneutic philosophy to provide a theoretical framework to illustrate the implications for teacher subject and pedagogical knowledge.

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