Effects of teaching using a ‘dance’ analogy on secondary school physics students’ conceptualization of heat concepts

Research in concept learning in science reveals that analogy is an effective instructional strategy in facilitating conceptual change within a constructivist paradigm. However in most non-Western contexts most of the analogies used by researchers have merely replicated analogical models fashioned for teaching science within Western contexts. The aim of this research was to investigate the effect of analogies derived from learners’ socio-cultural environment on concept learning in physics. Specifically, the study used a traditional African dance analogy to teach aspects of physical heat concepts. The results were compared with those of teaching the concepts using the conventional methods. Using the Solomon Four Non-equivalent Control Group Design, data were collected from Form I (Grade 9) students in four secondary schools in Nyandarua County, Kenya. The schools were randomly assigned to the four groups of the research design. The instrument was a Heat Concepts Test (HCT) in two equivalent forms one for pre-test and the other for post-test. The two were systematically assessed for validity and reliability by involving experts in Science Education and through pilot study. Hypotheses were tested using student’s t-test and ANOVA at an alpha level of 0.05. Results show that teaching using the traditional dance analogy led to higher conceptual gains of physical heat concepts compared to teaching using conventional methods. Analogy teaching also facilitated reduction of more of students’ misconceptions of physical heat concepts compared to conventional teaching methods. Based on these findings the study recommends that teachers should often consider students’ socio-cultural knowledge as the basis for selecting and designing analogies to facilitate conceptual change in teaching abstract science concepts.

Peter G Kaboro, Charles M. Nguta and Mark O. Okere
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Int J Inf Res Rev
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