Location

Room 218/220

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

Science teachers often employ analogies to help students understand new ideas and complicated processes. Orgill and Bodner (2004) write that “effective analogies can clarify thinking... and give students ways to visualize abstract concepts” (p. 15). Students are much more attentive in science class when instructors speak “a language that is more familiar and accessible” by using analogies and other similar rhetorical strategies (Lemke, 1990, p. 136).

Brandt (1996) wrote about developing a library instruction activity for “teaching the internet” to college students through analogy in the early days of the web: “It does not focus on the technical details of how the Internet works, yet it gives students a visual model against which to relate problems or new situations” (p. 40). Brandt even suggests that librarians could teach students to explore the Internet by using an analogy that might have been more familiar to them: a library catalog search. Today, our analogies can work in the opposite direction, connecting familiar resources like Amazon and Spotify back to library catalogs and databases.

Well-crafted analogies are powerful tools for increasing student interest, motivation, and understanding. However, research shows that on-the-fly analogies are much less effective in teaching abstract or difficult concepts (Harrison, 2006, p. 62). What if instruction librarians were to consciously employ well-crafted analogies to demystify library resources and research strategies as well as more abstract information literacy concepts? What if we see analogy as a pedagogy for library instruction? This presentation will explore why analogy works in library instruction, and participants will leave with the tools to craft effective analogies to use in their own teaching.

Brandt, S. G. (1996). A conceptual understanding of the Internet. Computers in Libraries,16(3), 39-41.

Harrison, A. G. (2006). The affective dimension of analogy. In P. J. Aubusson, A. G. Harrison, & S. M. Richie (Eds.), Metaphor and analogy in science education (pp. 51-63). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning, and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Orgill, M. and Bodner, G. (2004). What research tells us about using analogies to teach chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 2004(5), 15-32. http://doi.org/10.1039/B3RP90028B

Presentation Description

Research shows well-crafted analogies are powerful tools for increasing student interest, motivation, and understanding. What if instruction librarians consciously employ analogy to demystify library resources and research strategies as well as more abstract information literacy concepts? What if we see analogy as a pedagogy for library instruction? This presentation will explore why analogy works in library instruction, and participants will leave with the tools to craft effective analogies to use in their own teaching.

Session Goals

Explore the function of analogy in student learning

Assert the pedagogical value of teaching using analogy

Identify concepts in library instruction that are well-suited to analogy

Offer tools and strategies for creating effective analogies to use in the classroom

Session Objectives

Participants will identify analogies they already use in their own teaching

Participants will craft new analogies to explain resources, processes, or strategies to learners

Keywords

analogy, library instruction, pedagogy

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 29th, 10:45 AM Sep 29th, 10:55 AM

Analogy as Pedagogy: Using What Students Already Know in Library Instruction

Room 218/220

Science teachers often employ analogies to help students understand new ideas and complicated processes. Orgill and Bodner (2004) write that “effective analogies can clarify thinking... and give students ways to visualize abstract concepts” (p. 15). Students are much more attentive in science class when instructors speak “a language that is more familiar and accessible” by using analogies and other similar rhetorical strategies (Lemke, 1990, p. 136).

Brandt (1996) wrote about developing a library instruction activity for “teaching the internet” to college students through analogy in the early days of the web: “It does not focus on the technical details of how the Internet works, yet it gives students a visual model against which to relate problems or new situations” (p. 40). Brandt even suggests that librarians could teach students to explore the Internet by using an analogy that might have been more familiar to them: a library catalog search. Today, our analogies can work in the opposite direction, connecting familiar resources like Amazon and Spotify back to library catalogs and databases.

Well-crafted analogies are powerful tools for increasing student interest, motivation, and understanding. However, research shows that on-the-fly analogies are much less effective in teaching abstract or difficult concepts (Harrison, 2006, p. 62). What if instruction librarians were to consciously employ well-crafted analogies to demystify library resources and research strategies as well as more abstract information literacy concepts? What if we see analogy as a pedagogy for library instruction? This presentation will explore why analogy works in library instruction, and participants will leave with the tools to craft effective analogies to use in their own teaching.

Brandt, S. G. (1996). A conceptual understanding of the Internet. Computers in Libraries,16(3), 39-41.

Harrison, A. G. (2006). The affective dimension of analogy. In P. J. Aubusson, A. G. Harrison, & S. M. Richie (Eds.), Metaphor and analogy in science education (pp. 51-63). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning, and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Orgill, M. and Bodner, G. (2004). What research tells us about using analogies to teach chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 2004(5), 15-32. http://doi.org/10.1039/B3RP90028B