Analogies are commonplace heuristic tools in classrooms across all educational levels and content areas. In the present investigation, analogy-enhanced learning was examined in relation to conceptual applications of major developmental theories in undergraduate life-span development classes. To this end, systematic comparisons were undertaken between a learning condition in which individual students created their own analogies and a learning condition involving analogy co-construction as generated by small groups of students working cooperatively. On all quantitative and qualitative measures, results favored group co-construction of analogies over self-generated analogy creation. Findings are discussed in terms of social-constructivist and transformative-learning principles.

Author's Biographies

Joseph A. Mayo, professor of psychology at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia, earned his doctorate in educational psychology. Throughout a 36-year career in academe, he has published his research on constructivist pedagogical innovations in books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journals. He also has presented regularly at regional, national, and international teaching conferences. In recognition of his ongoing contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), he has received the 2003 Research in Undergraduate Education Award (state-college sector) from the University System of Georgia (USG); the 2005 Wayne Weiten National Teaching Excellence Award from the American Psychological Association (Division 2: Society for the Teaching of Psychology); and the 2019 SoTL Award across all USG sectors.

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