Teaching Grade Ten Mathematics by Analogies and Metaphors

Analogies are often used by instructors and authors to introduce an unfamiliar concept or generalization to readers or students by transferring it into an analogous and familiar one. Many studies have reported that the use of analogies resulted in beneficial outcomes (Hayes and Tierney, 1982; Simons, 1984; Beveridge and Parkins, 1987; Holyoak and Koh, 1987; Brown and Clement, 1989; Cardinale, 1993; Clement, 1993; Donnelly and McDaniel, 1993; Harrison and Treagust, 1993; Solomon, 1994; Treagust et al., 1996; Glynn and Takahashi, 1998; Fast, 1999). In recent years, several authors (e.g., Font & Acevedo 2003; Johnson, 1987; Lakoff & Núñez, 2000; Leino & Drakenberg, 1993; Núñez, 2000, Presmeg, 1992, 1997; Sfard, 1994, 1997) have pointed out the important role played by metaphors in the learning and teaching of mathematics. Analogies can be powerful teaching tools because they can make new material intelligible to students by comparing it to material that is already familiar. It is clear, though, that not all analogies are useful to all students. In order to determine which analogies are useful to students the researcher tried to use a number of analogies and assessed their impacts while lecturing two sections of Grade 10 students at St. John catholic school, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Analogy, Metaphor, Teaching, Learning

Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session