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ERIC Number: EJ1164608
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Commentary: Analogical Thinking in Geoscience Education
Jee, Benjamin D.; Uttal, David H.; Gentner, Dedre; Manduca, Cathy; Shipley, Thomas F.; Tikoff, Basil; Ormand, Carol J.; Sageman, Bradley
Journal of Geoscience Education, v58 n1 p2-13 Jan 2010
Geoscience instructors and textbooks rely on analogy for teaching students a wide range of content, from the most basic concepts to highly complicated systems. The goal of this paper is to connect educational and cognitive science research on analogical thinking with issues of geoscience instruction. Analogies convey that the same basic relationships hold in two different examples. In cognitive science, "analogical comparison" is understood as the process by which a person processes an analogy. We use a cognitive framework for analogy to discuss what makes an effective analogy, the various forms of analogical comparison used in instruction, and the ways that analogical thinking can be supported. Challenges and limitations in using analogy are also discussed, along with suggestions about how these limitations can be addressed to better guide instruction. We end with recommendations about the use of analogy for instruction, and for future research on analogy as it relates to geoscience learning.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: SBE0541957