The effects of verbal metaphor on learners' development of mental models
AbstractThe better effects of metaphors in learning have been proved in the past studies. Learners naturally invoke metaphors in learning new concepts because metaphors stimulate learners to generate models of the domain to be learned. However, little evidences were seen in terms of metaphors' effect on the forming of learners' mental models. Since metaphors function by providing familiar concepts that help learners to learn new domain, metaphors' effects may be more apparent to novice learners. This study explores the effects of metaphors on novices' and experts' development of mental models in learning concepts. Different evaluation methods were adopted to assess subjects' mental model development. Significant differences were found between the novice and expert subjects and between the metaphor and non-metaphor groups. The results indicate that metaphors do not function immediately after the learning activities but can help subjects to remember the knowledge learned.