Metaphor: powerful imagery bringing learning and teaching to life

Abawi, Lindy (2013) Metaphor: powerful imagery bringing learning and teaching to life. Improving Schools, 16 (2). pp. 130-147. ISSN 1365-4802


Using metaphor to clarify pedagogical understanding and to anchor teacher beliefs and knowledge to meaningful contextualized mental maps can have powerful consequences in schools. Frequent changes in school staff and clientele present schools with the challenge of how to share culturally specific messages quickly and effectively to those new to the school, whether staff, students or parents. Conscious collective use of metaphor within a school's meaning-making system has been found to be one of the possible answers. This article explores the use of metaphorical visions within schools that have undertaken the
Innovative Designs for Enhancing Achievement in Schools (IDEAS) Project and how the linking of metaphor to understandings of schoolwide practices creates cognitive connections capable of facilitating collective
understandings. The duality of meaning through metaphor facilitates a cognitive 'Place' where new and old
understandings can be shared, explored and enriched. A skilfully chosen and well investigated rich metaphor can capture the essence of what a school community believes to be important for student success. This essence can be shared, refined, reflected upon and used to guide and align understandings of practice. The findings show that the strong reinforcement of cognitive links through the use of metaphor may also sustain cultural understandings of pedagogical practice over the long term.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2013. Permanent restricted access to Published Version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2013 05:48
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 06:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognitive place; collective commitment; metaphor; school culture; vision; IDEAS
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220309 Metaphysics
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1177/1365480213492409

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