Gaining insights into teachers' ways of thinking via metaphors

Seferoglu G., Korkmazgil S. , Olcu Z.

EDUCATIONAL STUDIES, vol.35, no.3, pp.323-335, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03055690802648135
  • Title of Journal : EDUCATIONAL STUDIES
  • Page Numbers: pp.323-335


This study aimed to explore metaphorical images of pre-service and in-service teachers as windows into their schemata for thinking about "teachers". Data were gathered from three groups: 58 junior year students studying in a pre-service English teaching programme, 92 senior year students registered in the same pre-service programme, and 70 in-service English language teachers. Metaphor elicitation method was employed in this study. Participants were asked to complete in writing the stem "A teacher is ...". using a metaphor or simile. The analyses revealed that all groups of participants tend to conceptualise teacher as guide. The findings of this study pose important implications for teacher education programmes. It is suggested that teachers' pre-training cognitions regarding teachers and teaching should be surfaced and acknowledged, and that teacher candidates should be guided to transform tacit or unexamined beliefs into objectively rational beliefs as these in subtle ways influence how they teach and how students learn.