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ERIC Number: EJ893221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 82
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
The Role of Prior Knowledge in Learning from Analogies in Science Texts
Braasch, Jason L. G.; Goldman, Susan R.
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v47 n6 p447-479 2010
Two experiments examined whether inconsistent effects of analogies in promoting new content learning from text are related to prior knowledge of the analogy "per se." In Experiment 1, college students who demonstrated little understanding of weather systems and different levels of prior knowledge (more vs. less) of an analogous everyday situation read a text about weather systems that included the analogy or a control version that did not. Results indicated that those with more prior knowledge of the analogy performed better on weather system learning measures (sentence verification and number of concepts in essays). Prior knowledge of the analogous domain interacted with presence of the analogy in the text on 1 learning measure: Those with more prior knowledge who read the analogy text had fewer misconceptions in their conceptual models of weather than those who read the control text. Think-aloud protocols collected in Experiment 2 suggested that analogies in the text constrained prior knowledge activation and processing of the weather system content. Whereas previous research has shown that prior knowledge of a to-be-learned target domain positively impacts learning, this research elaborates this effect by showing that prior knowledge of an analogically related domain positively impacts target domain learning. (Contains 3 tables, 1 figure, and 5 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A