Metaphorical understandings and scientific ideas

Ogborn, Jon and Martins, Isabel (1996) Metaphorical understandings and scientific ideas. International Journal of Science Education, 18 (6). pp. 631-652. ISSN 0950-0693

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What kinds of similarities and differences must relate terms and analogues for a metaphor to be effective? In this paper we propose an answer, one which involves the basic ontology of terms and analogues. In a questionnaire study, metaphors from different areas of science were presented to 71 secondary school students and to 26 primary school teachers asking for a decision and a written response about whether it is a ‘good’ metaphor or not. Then, for each term and analogue, there is a list of questions intended to tap perceptions of six fundamental dimensions. The results show some degree of agreement between the two groups on judgements of metaphors. They also show that it is possible to give a general account of how metaphors for scientific ideas work, independent of the particular features of the metaphor. A discussion of how people's specific knowledge is important in influencing how they assimilate a metaphor to their understanding is also presented.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:34
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2012 14:06
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