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The Potential of Metaphor for Investigating and Reforming Teachers’ and Students’ Classroom Practices

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Teachers and students often possess entrenched, confined, and conservative beliefs regarding classroom practice and learning. These often tacit beliefs are significant barriers to classroom innovation and change. Changing teachers’ and students’ classroom practices requires that methods are available which enable teachers and students to make their tacit beliefs explicit and available for scrutiny. Metaphors are one means of exposing students’ and teachers’ beliefs regarding teaching and learning so they can be examined and discussed with a view to improving classroom practice and hence, student learning. Recent research on the relationships between teacher and student metaphors and the teaching and learning, particularly in relation to science teaching and learning, is reviewed. The use of metaphors as a means of developing a shared understanding of learning processes between teacher and student is highlighted. The further potential use of these research findings in broader educational contexts is discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Queensland University of Technology

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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  • Educational Practice and Theory is a bi-annual, independent, refereed journal which, since its launch in 1978, has become an important independent forum for original ideas in education. It publishes innovative and original research in the area. Its focus is both applied and theoretical and it seeks articles from a diverse range of themes and countries.
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