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Metaphors we teach by ola aiyegbayo


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Although most teachers may be unaware of the power of metaphors in their language, they certainly represent their teaching and learning in metaphorical language (Yero, 2002). Majority of the studies in educational metaphor literature have focused on teacher trainees and teacher educators and there is a paucity of literature on higher education teachers’ metaphors. This TALISS seminar will focus on the key findings from a study which examined National Teaching Fellows’ metaphorical images of teaching. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) is a competition that recognises and rewards individual excellence in teaching and/or supporting the higher education student learning experience. The presenter contacted one hundred and five National Teaching Fellows (winners of the 2010 and 2011 NTFS competition) for their teaching metaphors. 45 Fellows (43%) responded to this email survey. Seminar attendees will be encouraged to share their own teaching metaphors and reflect on whether their teaching metaphors have any impact on their teaching practices.

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Metaphors we teach by ola aiyegbayo

  1. 1. Metaphors we teach by:National Teaching Fellows’ metaphorical images of teaching Olaojo Aiyegbayo #TALISS
  2. 2. Seminar OverviewPresentation Discussion (30 mins) (30 mins)
  3. 3. Metaphorical Stem Activity“My teaching is (like) …………………because …………”Complete with a metaphor that best describes yourcurrent teaching practice & state relevant teachingcontext.
  4. 4. Book’s Main Premise
  5. 5. Metaphors are analogical deviceswhich lie beneath the surface of anindividual’s awareness and serve as acognitive device for learning newinformation, concepts and skills. Andrew Ortony (1993)
  6. 6. Research Background National Teaching Fellowship Scheme
  7. 7. 105 Fellows5 45 Fellows19 Strong 17 Non 9 Noes
  8. 8. 8Metaphorical Categories
  9. 9. Travelling Metaphor (6)
  10. 10. “My teaching style is like a ‘tourguide’, signposting the interestinglandmarks and providing somecontext in a way that encouragesothers to explore the landscape forthemselves in a way that is of mostuse to them…….” Fellow B
  11. 11. Parenting Metaphor (4)
  12. 12. "Teaching is like feeding studentswith pre-digested concepts in ananimated and enthusiastic manner -the students should always feel theyhave left a teaching event havinglearnt something new." Fellow I
  13. 13. “…..It is a bit like being a goodparent, you know when you havebeen successful, they can fly awayon their own.” Fellow J
  14. 14. Performance Metaphor (3)
  15. 15. “Lecturing (Teaching) is interactivetheatre where you use your physicalpresence, social contact and thephysicality of the lecture theatreand audience to enthuse about thesubject……” Fellow L
  16. 16. Coaching Metaphor (2)
  17. 17. “Teaching is giving mental athletesthe tools to help them stretch anddevelop towards becoming fullyfunctioning [personally andintellectually] individuals.” Fellow O
  18. 18. Knitting Metaphor (1)
  19. 19. “My teaching is like fair-isleknitting. I am the needles gentlyteasing the strands of wool togetherand creating the structure and theframework, yet it is the wool (orlearners) who provide the colourand substance of the finalresult……” Fellow P
  20. 20. Gardening Metaphor (1)
  21. 21. “I think my preferred teachingmetaphor would be that ofgardener - striving to bring out thebest in the plants under their careso that they can produce productivefruit…..” Fellow Q
  22. 22. Construction Metaphor (1)
  23. 23. “The teacher is a scaffold thatgradually removes itself to the pointof not being needed. With thescaffold the building (student) cango much higher than it could havedone without this support at theearly stages.” Fellow R
  24. 24. Fishing Metaphor (1)
  25. 25. “Teaching is like learning to fish. Youhave to spend time watching the waterbefore you gradually become aware ofall the activity beneath the surface.Then you have to recognise how thefish (learners) are swimming, so youcan align yourself with their direction &then lead them where you want themto go.” Fellow S
  26. 26. Non-metaphorical responses• “Teaching is enabling learners to hold on to what would otherwise be difficult to grasp. It turns abstractions into tangible things.”• “Teaching is remembering that you are always a student of the discipline and a student of the best of way delivering it….”
  27. 27. Benefit of metaphors toteaching practitioners
  28. 28. Metaphors are reframing or heuristic tools that can be employed by teachers to reflect upon and improve their practice (Munby & Russell, 1990).“Metaphors are reframingor heuristic tools that can beemployed by teachers toreflect upon and improvetheir practice.” (Munby & Russell, 1990)).
  29. 29. “I love metaphors as they are reallypowerful ways to convey ideas andthis exercise certainly made methink about my approach and whatI am trying to do in my teaching sothanks very much. Thank you formaking me think this evening.” Fellow P
  30. 30. “I dont normally use metaphors butyour question made me think more” Fellow J
  31. 31. Discussion• Please share your teaching metaphor with the group and your thoughts on its connection with your teaching practice.
  32. 32. Teacher as travel or tour guide, shipTravelling metaphor captain, lighthouse keeper and students as travellersParenting metaphor Teacher as ‘good’ parent and students as children.Performance metaphor Teacher as actor, tightrope walker, cheeky clown and students as audienceCoaching metaphor Teacher as coach and students as mental athletesKnitting metaphor Teacher as needle and students as woolGardening metaphor Teacher as gardener and students as plantsConstruction metaphor Teacher as scaffold and students as buildingsFishing metaphor Teacher as fisherman and students as fishes
  33. 33. Image Attribution