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What type of teacher?

In this article you look at two case studies on how metaphors are used to help explore what type of educator you are.
© University of Reading

In a paper entitled ‘Beginning teacher curriculum decision making, personal teaching metaphors, and teacher education’ (please note this article is behind a paywall), there’s a description of the metaphors two educators use to describe how they perceive education.

Before we reveal what their metaphors are, read the descriptions taken from the paper, of each teacher’s view of education and consider what their metaphors might be.

Teacher 1

“I spent about 10 years out living in the mountains…seeking to elevate mountain bumming to an art form. I just love mountains. I loved being up on the ridge tops. I was in really good shape. I was free and easy but I began to realize more and more that my bliss was limited…I was living in a world of trouble, and I [was alone and disconnected from that world] I found that my path toward fulfilment had to take a turn [to people], to…family. Being a family guy has awakened in me…a really strong need sort of pulling me in a certain direction to get in a place where I could be with [and help] kids. I see [my decision to teach] as a continuity – [an expression] of my developing sense of commitment for others…I felt something awakening in me; I knew I was going to be a teacher. Somewhere, somehow, someway, I was going to be a teacher.” [p. 241]

Teacher 2

“I used to pretend school [as a child]. All the kids would come over to our house, and I would pretend I was the teacher. I did tutoring in fifth and sixth grade, and I tutored in junior high and high school. It was kind of natural [for me]. Both my grandparents were teachers, and I always looked up to them.” [p.244]

Take a moment and write down your answers in the comments below. For example, possible metaphors for teacher 1 could be mountaineer, skydiver, star or universe. Teacher 2 could be family, community or caretaker. Once you have written your answers, you can find the answer sheet at the bottom of the Step to reveal what the two respective metaphors are.

© University of Reading
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