Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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By helping us frame meaning, metaphors provide us with a unique way of portraying the world. The concept of metaphors for approaches to teaching has gained support of educators and researchers alike. We'd like to collect more information on this idea to continue the investigation. If you are, have been, or are learning to be a teacher, we'd like to hear your metaphor for teaching!

If you'd like to read more about metaphors for teaching, continue reading below. Or you can:

Enter your own metaphor

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View Metaphors from Other Teachers

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Discuss Metaphors for Teaching



Metaphors help us describe, visualize, and make sense of the world around us. For example, a possible metaphor for the brain is a computer. The images this metaphor creates help us to make sense of something complex -- many would consider the brain, like the computer, to have intelligence, memory, and organization, and perhaps even to be user-friendly.

Teaching is also something that is very complex. Metaphors offer a great way to help create images for others of what teaching means to you. For example, the metaphor of an octopus might evoke the image of a teacher with many "arms" reaching out to the needs of many students; the metaphor of a sheep herder might create the image of a teacher who is guiding a "flock" of students in a particular direction; the metaphor of a social director might form the image of a teacher who offers students a wide range of activities to interest them; and the metaphor of a decathlete might produce the image of a teacher who is required to be talented in many events in order to be successful at his/her job. As you can imagine, just as the role of a teacher changes though the day, so does his/her metaphor. And, just as every teacher has his/her own style of teaching, every teacher's metaphor for teaching is different.

Not only are metaphors a wonderful way to portray your understanding of teaching to others, they are a helpful way for you to focus on your own teaching style. By studying your own teaching metaphors, you can reflect on the methods and practices that accompany particular metaphors and how they impact your classroom. Further, you may find that using a different metaphor that you believe represents a new teaching style is an effective way to implement change in your classroom.

Teaching Metaphors from Broadcasts


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