Elaborate Analogies in Science Text: Tools for Enhancing Preservice Teachers' Knowledge and Attitudes


Secondary and Middle Grades Education

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Preservice teachers studied texts about three fundamentally important science concepts. They read versions with no analogy, versions with a simple analogy, and versions with an elaborate analogy. An elaborate analogy is one that consists of text and pictorial components in which similarities between the analog and the target concept are made explicit. Verbal and imagery processes combine to promote a mapping of conceptual features. The findings indicated that elaborate analogies improved the science knowledge and attitudes of preservice teachers by relating what is familiar to what is new. The findings are consistent with a constructivist view of learning science and suggest that science texts for preservice teachers should be adapted to take advantage of elaborate analogies in a systematic way.