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ERIC Number: EJ886171
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-1094-3277
Middle School Students' Perceptions of the Instructional Value of Analogies, Summaries and Answering Questions in Life Science
BouJaoude, Saouma; Tamim, Rana
Science Educator, v17 n1 p72-78 Spr 2008
Meaningful learning is the fundamental process that underlies the acquisition of useful information and the construction of new knowledge. By creating meaningful relations, learners are able to organize the information in bigger and more organized chunks of information; an organization that reduces memory overload and increases processing capacity, ultimately improving the ability to remember information and solve problems. There are many strategies that can be used to help students achieve meaningful learning; three of these strategies, called generative learning strategies, are analogies, summaries, and answering questions. Analogies provide a bridge between what is known and what is less known, facilitate conceptual change, assist in conceptual change learning, facilitate understanding of abstract notions, provide visualization of the abstract, provoke students' interest, and may reveal misconceptions in areas already taught. Similarly, summarization has been found to enhance comprehension and recall of passage content and to contribute to comprehension of both content and text organization in second language learning. Oral and written questions stimulate thinking, improve retention of content material, and improve students' achievement. Engaging students in answering or generating thought-provoking questions helps them gain the knowledge and skills necessary for managing their learning, become more successful problem solvers, construct explanations that mediate meaningful learning, describe and relate what they are learning to existing knowledge, and change their alternative conceptions. In summary, generative learning strategies improve the cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes of schooling at all educational levels. Moreover, research has demonstrated that students can generate analogies. Consequently, understanding students' perceptions of the instructional value of generating analogies and summaries and answering questions, as well as their intention to use them in the classroom, are important to investigate because of the assumed link between intention and behavior. Educators who understand students' perceptions of teaching strategies and their readiness to use these strategies can adapt their teaching to take into account these perceptions and intentions. However, currently, there is very limited research that addresses students' perceptions and intentions, especially for students at the middle school level. This study investigates students' perceptions of the effectiveness and utility of generating analogies, summaries, and answering questions in a middle school science classroom and elucidates their intentions to use these strategies in science classrooms and in other subject areas. (Contains 4 tables.)
National Science Education Leadership Association. P.O. Box 99381, Raleigh, NC 27624-9381. Tel: 919-848-8171; Fax: 919-848-0496; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Lebanon