Teachers' Use of Metaphors


Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Teachers' Use of Metaphors

  1. 1. TEACHERS’ USE OF METAPHORS IN MAKING SENSE OF THE FIRST YEAR OF TEACHINGBrandy BarterJeff FowlerEDUC 8620: PracticumDr. DeCostaSept. 5, 2012
  2. 2. Introduction Mann wants to explore metaphor as a way of reflective teaching. How 1st year Ts use metaphor to make sense of their teaching. Do “root” metaphors change after the 1st year of teaching? Is the change based on teaching context?
  3. 3. Methodology Case study of five 1st year EFL teachers from the same MA program They wrote a “root” metaphor at the beginning of their MA program They had the option to modify their metaphor at the end of their MA program They communicated with the researcher via e- mail throughout their 1st year of teaching
  4. 4. John Root metaphor: shepard Modified metaphor: train conductor Emails: coaching a team, class tutor, policeman, custodial officer (running a prison). “…real children in real classrooms are not always lovable…” (Spencer, 1986, p. 10)
  5. 5. Izumi Root Metaphor: marketing researcher  Was interested in CLT and TBL Modified metaphor: still marketing researcher Emails: manager, controller, students as difficult customers, horse pulling students forward (at the end of 1st year).
  6. 6. Tom Root metaphor: ship captain Revised metaphor: ship captain - w/ engineering skills Emails: keeping boat afloat, stormy, strong winds, hurricane, construction (house building & decorating) Children misunderstand the meaning of playing games... “They think that now is time to play only and not play and learn simultaneously” (p. 20).
  7. 7. Connie Root metaphor: farmer, classrooms as greenhouses (engaged in growing vegetables) Revised metaphor: still farmer Emails: growth, seeds, watering, feeding, replanting, mother
  8. 8. Carmen Root metaphor: actress, students as audience Revised metaphor: actress, comedian, magician Emails: cook, diet, exercise, mother “The more you exercise and get the food right, the best shape and physical condition you can develop for the students” (p. 22).
  9. 9. Findings Teachers use metaphors as “explanatory vehicles” (Block, 1996, p. 51) to articulate their difficulties, conflicts and tension in their 1st year. 1st year teachers often use metaphors related to balance (e.g. “finding my footing”). There is little evidence of root metaphors persisting (likely because they are created in the absence of context).
  10. 10. Conclusion Metaphors are not fixed Metaphors are dependent on context
  11. 11. Group Activity1. Individually, think of a teaching experience you’ve had and come up with a metaphor to suit that experience. Please brainstorm and then write a sentence or two to describe. (3 min.)You may want to start by using this prompt:The teacher is like…The language classroom is like…
  12. 12. Group Activity (continued)2. Individually answer this question: Do you believe that articulating your teaching experience through metaphor is a valuable component of reflective teaching? Why or why not? (3 min.)LAST QUESTION: a.) Individually answer this question: Do the words we use (i.e. metaphors) influence the way we think or teach? Why or why not? (1 min. to think, 3 min. to discuss with group). b.) Individually answer this question: Would you be comfortable sharing your metaphor with parents and administration? How would they likely respond? (1 min. to think, 3 min. to discuss with group).