Analogies are often used in science to engage student interest and explain difficult and abstract ideas. While some analogies effectively clarify difficult concepts, many are inadequte or can cause further confusion. Drawing from an extensive research base on the use of analogies in the classroom, Allan Harrison and Richard Coll have compiled more than 40 interesting and effective science analogies that are teacher-friendly and ready for implementation. Using the FAR approach (Focus, Action, and Reflection), the authors show teachers how and when to select analogies for use in instruction, where certain analogies work and where they break down, and how to gauge the effectiveness of certain strategies in the classroom. Using this guidebook, teachers will be able to recognize conceptual problems within many commonly used analogies and learn how to improve them.
Allan G. Harrison is Associate Professor of Science Education at Central Queensland University. Allan taught biology, chemistry and physics to students in Grades 7-12 for 25 years before completing his MSc and PhD at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia. He has taught science teachers for 10 years and has researched teaching and learning with analogies for 15 years and published articles on science analogies in all leading science education journals. Allan also studies the capacity of analogies to engender conceptual change. He brings to this book his personal practical experience in teaching with analogies in high school and his research on other teachers' use of analogies. He believes that analogies, when used well, enhance students' interest and knowledge in science. He hopes you will share with him his commitment to learning for understanding. Richard K. Coll is associate professor of science education at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Richard holds a PhD in chemistry from Canterbury University and an EdD in science education from Curtin University of Technology. His research interests are concerned with mental models of science concepts, and a variety of aspects of work-integrated learning.