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Revolutions in Chemistry

In: Science

Submitted By MbageBawa
Words 21834
Pages 88
JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN SCIENCE TEACHING

VOL. 38, NO. 2, PP. 222 ± 259 (2001)

Using a Metaphor for Learning to Improve Students' Metacognition in the Chemistry Classroom

Gregory P. Thomas1 and Campbell J. McRobbie2
1

Department of Curriculum Studies, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam Road, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

2

Centre for Mathematics and Science Education, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Brisbane, 4059, Australia Received 6 March 2000; accepted 31 August 2000

Abstract: A constructivist framework was used in conjunction with an interpretive methodology to investigate the effect of an intervention using the metaphor ``learning is constructing'' on students' metacognition and learning processes. The metaphor was used to communicate with students regarding learning processes consistent with constructivism. Students were initially found to be generally non-metacognitive regarding their learning processes. Despite some students possessing metacognitive knowledge consistent with a constructivist learning orientation, their pre-intervention views and preferences in relation to teaching and learning were predominantly consistent with transmission models. The effect of the intervention on students' metacognition was variable. Some students became increasingly metacognitive and reported evidence of revision of their learning processes. Others reported little or no effect. The effects of the intervention can be partially explained by considering changes to students' metacognition as conceptual change. However, this study also shows that contextual factors are key determinants of students' propensity to enhance their metacognition and learning processes. This study highlights the potential of using metaphor as a means to assist teachers and students develop a shared language of learning in classroom settings. ß 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc....

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