Metaphors can give maximum meaning with a minimal use of words. Two recent blog posts shared metaphors that centered on change and resistance. The Sharp End, from Steve Wheeler’s Learning with the e’s blog, captured the pencil metaphor with a great graphic to describe six types of people in any organization. Wheeler’s pencil focuses on innovation and use of technology and definitely pushes the pencil metaphor. The Journal shared, The Waterbed Effect in K12 Education, focusing on the change from print to digital resources and the faster changing technology infrastructure. The waterbed effect interacts by the ripple and looks at all parts and sees how they can make connections.
These are two great metaphors but a pre-service teacher, in an assignment to select a metaphor to articulate their belief system of teaching and learning, shares a third, a bus. Ten themes emerged from this assignment with only a few metaphors focusing on student centered learning. You can read more about the research and assignment at The Use of Teaching Metaphors in Pre-Service Education and learn from the metaphor, the bus.
I view myself as a bus, carrying with me the hopes and aspirations of my students. The schooling environment in which I will operate can be likened to a busy highway. There are certain twists and turns that I must safely negotiate in order to get my passengers to their desired destination, adulthood. Through this course, my passengers would learn that I am more than a service, respecting me as a friendly and helpful resource. I would take my students aboard and throughout their journey, make stops to ensure that all were on the right route and heading in the same direction. When considering teaching as commuting, it is essential that I as the bus of learning, flow with the other influential traffic on the highway of life so as to ensure students flourish in a safe and caring atmosphere. This of course means that alternative routes may have to be taken so that each individual reaches their potential and enjoys their developmental trip through the subject of health and physical education and life. Just like a bus, I return to where I began to commence another journey of guidance, this time with a new set of passengers. All aboard.!! Teaching metaphor written by a preservice teacher, prior to commencement of his teaching career.
What would be your metaphor for teaching and learning in 2012? Will it be focused on what is important – student engagement and learning? Don’t let your bus rust!
Few For Friday – Rich Sites to Gather Engaging Activities
Thinkfinity is a great resource to search and gather ideas for engaging lessons. A keyword search with metaphor results in ideas from readwritethink and EDSITEment.
HotChalk’s LessonPlansPage provides free lessons written by teachers. Check out Hip-Hop Similes and Metaphors. Could students record their rap songs at cinch.fm using their mobile devices?
Lesson Planet is great search engine for educators that shares a ten day trial period. You can still search for free and grab ideas from the short descriptions. Here is a simple search that resulted in many ideas for metaphor lessons.
Photo courtesy of Nick Thompson - http://www.flickr.com/photos/n-r-t/1142694207/