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Abstract

Expert scientific inquiry involves the generation and use of analogies. How and when students might develop this aspect of expertise has implications for understanding how and when instruction might facilitate that development. In a study of K-8 student inquiry in physical science, we are examining cases of spontaneous analogy generation. In the case we present here, a third-grader generates an analogy and modifies it to reconcile his classmates' counterarguments, allowing us to identify in these third-graders specific aspects of nascent expertise in analogy use. Promoting abilities and inclinations such as these children display requires that educators recognize and respond to them. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed90:316–330, 2006