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The role of writing in learning from analogies

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Learning and Instruction Volume 17, Number 6, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This study examines the role of writing in learning scientific principles through analogy. Seventy-two university students observed two demonstrations concerning one of three topics: buoyant force of a fluid, projectile motion or forces internal to a system. Each composed an analogy on one of the topics through speaking-only, writing-only, or think-aloud writing. The writing conditions produced greater learning on a post-test of transfer. Writing made a greater difference for students with low spatial working memory span. The effect of writing on science learning was mediated by increased mapping of causal explanations. Students who solved the target analogy used a process in which they progressively integrated simple propositions to form complex propositions; cycled between mapping descriptions and mapping causal explanations; and identified and resolved misconceptions.


Klein, P.D., Piacente-Cimini, S. & Williams, L.A. (2007). The role of writing in learning from analogies. Learning and Instruction, 17(6), 595-611. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved November 21, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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