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Title: Students' predictions in novel situations and the role of self-generated analogies in their reasoning
Author: Fotou, Nikolaos
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 6998
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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This cross age study was designed to investigate students’ predictions in novel situations and the role that self-generated analogies play in non-scientific reasoning. The study used a mixed method ap-proach. Data was collected through the conduction of group interviews which were audio-tape rec-orded and additional data was collected through the use of written responses in the questionnaire. There were 37, 31, 29, 35 and 34 students recruited from Year 4, Year 6, Year 7, Year 9 and Year 11 (aged 9-10, 11-12, 12-13. 14-15 and 16-17 years) respectively from ten different schools in Greece. Students’ responses were analysed to ascertain whether their predictions drew on the use of analogies, and if so, the nature of the analogies that they used and whether the ideas used in the explanations of their predictions could be understood from a p-prims or a misconception perspective. The study found that students regularly make use of analogies, rather than scientific thinking in order to make their predictions. It also emerged that there were many similarities among students’ predic-tions as well as the analogies they used to explain the latter. In many cases this students’ non-scientific reasoning was based on their experiential knowledge which led them to make a prediction which is not compatible with the scientific view. However, according to the findings, there were cases in which analogical reasoning led some of them, more frequently the older (secondary education) ones, to make correct predictions. The study suggests that teachers need to be more aware of the nature of the analogies used and how, and why, these analogies can, in many cases, lead students to make scientifically incorrect or correct predictions.
Supervisor: Abrahams, I. Z. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available