Conjecturing via reconceived classical analogy

Kyeong Hwa Lee, Bharath Sriraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Analogical reasoning is believed to be an efficient means of problem solving and construction of knowledge during the search for and the analysis of new mathematical objects. However, there is growing concern that despite everyday usage, learners are unable to transfer analogical reasoning to learning situations. This study aims at facilitating analogy use for conjecturing in discourse-rich mathematics classrooms. We reconceptualized one of the traditional perspectives on analogical reasoning, called classical analogy, as a more dynamic one by providing learners with the opportunity to choose a target object and its property. While shifting attention to particular aspects of mathematical activity, we observed and analyzed how students became aware of hidden relational similarities and utilized them while weakening others to make conjectures. The detailed analysis of the constructs and processes of several similarity-making and conjecturing activities supports the significance of reconceived classical analogy use in mathematics classrooms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-140
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Analogical reasoning
  • Conjecturing
  • Justifying
  • Knowledge construction
  • Relational similarity


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