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IAG_2014 Metaphorical Thinking

This presentation highlights how to use metaphorical thinking to improve both students' and teachers' critical thinking within the classroom.

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IAG_2014 Metaphorical Thinking

  1. 1. Metaphorical Thinking A Microscope for Seeing Content Creatively Lisa Rubenstein Ball State University Indiana Association for the Gifted December 16, 2014
  2. 2. Analogies are comparisons of the similar features of two things. They are mental telescopes [or microscopes] through which you can spy ideas. -Michael Michalko
  3. 3. James Geary
  4. 4. Why use metaphors? Understand the concept (abstract?) Solve a problem with new perspective Think about topic from a different angle...inspiration.
  5. 5. Understanding the Concept We are threatened by the strange. Helps to connect with something familiar Helps to make sense of unfamiliar Promotes cognitive dissonance and constructivist learning ideals
  6. 6. Understand the concept.
  7. 7. Solve a problem from a new perspective.
  8. 8. Cave Man Meet Fish (Davis, 2004)
  9. 9. Inspiration...
  10. 10. Option 1: Force it. Goal: Improve a flashlight. Metaphor: Attend medical school.
  11. 11. Improving flashlight is like attending medical school Need textbook/ manuals Attend class/talk to professors Learn how to administer anesthesia Insulate myself from social demands Practice on cadavers Package first aid kits with lights Incorporate a radio transmitter Include mace for protection Insulate flashlights to protect batteries Include a miniature tool kit
  12. 12. Option 2: Give options. Pick a problem. Can’t sell copiers Want to increase library usage Can’t get the car to start Can’t motivate students Need to design a swimming pool Time to Experiment
  13. 13. Now pick an analogy counterpart... Television evangelists Denny’s Your favorite sports team (hint: Steelers) Tape measure Pearl Harbor
  14. 14. Brainstorm the characteristics of your analogy.
  15. 15. Apply those characteristics to your problem.
  16. 16. What are some potential solutions?
  17. 17. Make the familiar strange. State your challenge. Choose a key word or phrase. Choose a parallel or distant field. List the images you you associate with your chosen field. Look for similarities and connections between the two.
  18. 18. Tips for Parallels Chose a field you know well. The more detailed the better. (Instead of restaurants, think Taco Bell.) Finding parallels...use wikipedia.... Or even... nature, accounting, birds, football, China, comics, dance, mafia, mining, reality television, ballet, WWI, sailing, jungles, insects, bowling...
  19. 19. Imagine this in the classroom...
  20. 20. Questions to Scaffold How is teaching like football? How is the water cycle like Taco Bell? How is Charlie (chocolate factory) like Manny (modern family)? How are sine graphs like lighthouses? Scaffold creativity. Option 1
  21. 21. Give students the concept. (Discuss/ lecture...) Create a list of potential analogies. Have them create the attributes and the connections. Describe the similarities and dissimilarities. Scaffold creativity. Option 2
  22. 22. Design your own analogy. Scaffold creativity. Option 3
  23. 23. Other Analogies Fantasy Analogy: Fantastic, farfetched, craziest situation possible. Symbolic Analogy: Oxymorons Personal Analogy: Empathy, become the challenge/concept.
  24. 24. A teaching analogy... How is teaching like a movie? What makes a good movie good? What makes a bad movie bad?
  26. 26. Spoiler Alert
  27. 27. ? ?
  29. 29. Concluding Thoughts Analogies can be used to help students connect unfamiliar content to the familiar. Analogies can be used for inspiration and problem solving...even within the teaching profession.
  30. 30. Questions?