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Metaphor in the Language of Education

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1 Metaphor in the Language of Education
Language Futures: Languages in Higher Education Conference 2012 Edinburgh 5-6 July 2012 Metaphor in the Language of Education John C. Wade University of Cagliari (Italy)

2 “EDUCATION – At Mr Wackford Squeers’s Academy, Dotheboys Hall, at the delightful village of Dotheboys, near Greta Bridge in Yorkshire, Youth are boarded, clothed, booked, furnished with pocket money, provided with all necessaries, instructed in all languages living and dead, mathematics, orthography, geometry, astronomy, trigonometry, the use of the globes, algebra, single stick (if required), writing arithmetic, fortification, and every other branch of classical literature. Terms twenty guinea per annum. No extras, no vacations, and diet unparalleled.” From Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens ( ).

3 1. Overall aims of study Identify the salient characteristics of educational discourse. Identify the learning needs of Italian students on Education degrees at the University of Cagliari. Production of EAP teaching materials based on the needs of learners.

4 2. Learner needs “In the first instance, we can make a basic distinction between target needs (i.e. what the learner needs to do in the target situation) and learning needs (i.e. what the learner needs to do in order to learn).” T. Hutchinson, A. Waters (1987) English for Specific Purposes: A learning-centred approach. CUP, Cambridge

5 Needs analysis Ongoing data collection.
University of Cagliari quality control questionnaires. Informal interviews with ERASMUS students.

6 Observations English is interesting. English is an important language.
Wider professional opportunities. Need to speak English. Need for extensive remedial work. Comprehension of specialised academic texts for thesis/dissertation research. Follow lessons and seminars in the English language, e.g. Child Literature, Turkish Education System, School Management, etc. Write weekly reports in English for continuous assessment. University of Cagliari quality control questionnaires Data from University of Cagliari ERASMUS exchange students, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey

7 3. Corpus linguistics “Strictly speaking, a corpus by itself can do nothing at all, being nothing other than a store of used language. Corpus access software, however, can re-arrange that store so that observations of various kinds can be made. If a corpus represents, very roughly and partially, a speaker’s experience of language, the access software re-orders that experience so that it can be examined in ways that are usually impossible.” (The italics are mine) S. Hunston (2002) Corpora in Applied Linguistics. CUP, Cambridge.

8 Advantages Study of word frequency.
Identification of recurrent language patterns in large bodies of text. Automatic annotation saves time. The Web provides an almost limitless source of data¹. ¹Sharoff, S. (2006) ‘Open-source corpora: using the net to fish for linguistic data’, in The International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 11/4, pp

9 Disadvantages Automatic annotation is not always reliable.
Manual annotation is time-consuming, but more accurate. A corpus represents language at a given point in time. Therefore, the data can quickly become obsolete. There can be problems with copyright. Open access material on the Web can be of dubious quality.

10 Methodology Data collection - selection of sources: books, academic articles, conference papers, media, abstracts, spoken discourse (c. 1 million words). Computerisation - scanning or downloading from Web, correction, converting to widely recognised text format. Annotation - manually or with concordancer, e.g. KWIC (Key Word in Context). cf. C.F. Meyer (2002) English Corpus Linguistics: An introduction. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

11 KWIC Annotation Tool CONCORDANCE
S. Federici & J.C. Wade (2007) ‘Letting in the light and working with the Web: A dynamic corpus development approach to interpreting metaphor’, Proceedings of the Corpus Linguistics Conference Birmingham 2007, M. Davis, P. Rayson, S. Hunston e P. Danielsson (eds),

12 4. Metaphor “But that intellectual concepts, and the sounds formed from inner perception which designate them, convey, with progressive use, a deeper and more soul-striving content, is shown by the experience of all languages which have undergone centuries of development. Talented writers give the words enhanced content, and an eagerly receptive nation adopts and propagates it.” (The italics are mine) Wilhelm von Humboldt (1836), On Language: On the discovery of human language construction and its influence on the mental development of the human species.

13 Interpretations of metaphor
“[…] metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language, but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.”1 “the use of metaphor is one of the many devices available to the scientific community to accomplish the task of accommodation of language to the causal structure of the world.”2 1G. Lakoff, M. Johnson (1980) Metaphors We Live By, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2R. Boyd (1993) ‘Metaphor and theory change: What is “metaphor” a metaphor for?’ in A. Ortony (ed.) Metaphor and Thought (Second Edition), CUP, New York.

14 Shaping educational thinking
“There is a very different tradition associated with the notion of metaphor, however - one which treats metaphor as central to the task of accounting for our perspectives on the world: how we think about things, make sense of reality, and set the problems we later try to solve. In this second sense, ‘metaphor’ refers both to a certain kind of product - a perspective or frame, a way of looking at things - and to a certain kind of process - a process by which new perspectives on the world come into existence.” D.A. Schön (1979), cited in D. Block (1999) ‘Who framed SLA research: Problem framing and metaphoric accounts of the SLA research process’ in L. Cameron, G. Low (eds) Researching and Applying Metaphor. CUP, Cambridge.

15 Shaping educational thinking
“There is a very different tradition associated with the notion of metaphor, however - one which treats metaphor as central to the task of accounting for our perspectives on the world: how we think about things, make sense of reality, and set the problems we later try to solve. In this second sense, ‘metaphor’ refers both to a certain kind of product - a perspective or frame, a way of looking at things - and to a certain kind of process - a process by which new perspectives on the world come into existence.” The PICTURE metaphor have a partial picture build a picture a picture of learning to be pictured as D.A. Schön (1979), cited in D. Block (1999) ‘Who framed SLA research: Problem framing and metaphoric accounts of the SLA research process’ in L. Cameron, G. Low (eds) Researching and Applying Metaphor. CUP, Cambridge.

16 Key concepts Metaphor underlies our thinking at a deep level.
Metaphor can also be used overtly, especially in literary texts, but not only¹. It is used both to understand and explain the world around us. ¹cf. G. Steen (1994) Understanding Metaphor in Literature. Longman, Harlow.

17 Pedagogical issues Conceptual understanding of specific language areas beyond traditional grammar and lexis Metaphor is frequent in academic writing, because we are often dealing with abstract concepts2 As yet little work has been done on using metaphor for teaching purposes2 Topic based activities might allow us to work on extending the limitations of conventional metaphors1 Learner creativity may be exploited in conceptualising given views of the world through metaphor, i.e X is Y1 cf. 1G.D. Low (1988) ‘On teaching metaphor’ in Applied Linguistics 9/2, pp ; 2L. Cameron & G.D. Low (1999) ‘Metaphor’ in Language Teaching 32/2, pp

18 5. Key concepts in Education?
“Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper void of all characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience.”1 “To imposition from above is opposed expression and cultivation of individuality; to external discipline is opposed free activity; to learning from texts and teachers, learning through experience; to acquisition of isolated skills and techniques by drill is opposed acquisition of them by means of attaining ends which make direct vital appeal; to preparation for a more or less remote future is opposed making the most of the opportunities of present life; to static aims and materials is opposed acquaintance with a changing world […].”2 (The italics are mine) 1John Locke (1690) An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 2John Dewey (1938) Experience and Education.

19 European educational policy
A number of factors influence current thinking about education policy in Europe: Greater mobility within the EU An ageing population Effects of globalisation Technological advances

20 Knowledge-based society
Raise the level of knowledge, skills and competences in society. Aim to maximise the potential of individuals in terms of their personal development and their contribution to a sustainable and democratic knowledge-based society. Create more flexible learning pathways into and within higher education. Allow Europe to compete in a rapidly changing world. Adapted from London Comuniqué (2007) ‘Towards the European Higher Education Area: responding to challenges in a globalised world’.

21 Knowledge “Learning, the creation of knowledge, occurs through the active extension and grounding of ideas and experiences in the external world and through internal reflection about the attributes of these experiences and ideas.” (The italics are mine) D. Kolb (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs N.J.

22 Knowledge as CATALYST Knowledge as SOLID FOUNDATION appears to be static: ‘knowledge of history’, ‘subject knowledge’. Knowledge is commonly combined with such concepts as ‘skills’, ‘understanding’, ‘competence’. Therefore, in EU policy, knowledge is seen as the basis for developing practical skills. A rather less static view of knowledge might be that of CATALYST.

23 Knowledge as CATALYST Knowledge as SOLID FOUNDATION appears to be static: ‘knowledge of history’, ‘subject knowledge’. Knowledge is commonly combined with such concepts as ‘skills’, ‘understanding’, ‘competence’. Therefore, in EU policy, knowledge is seen as the basis for developing practical skills. A rather less static view of knowledge might be that of CATALYST. knowledge as KNOWING -STATIC knowledge combined with ACTIONS - DYNAMIC

24 Corpus data … reported that pupils' knowledge of history is "patchy" and … … teachers had little knowledge of children's abilities or … … our very knowledgeable guide … … and a young person's knowledge is often the most up to … … to develop "essential knowledge, skills and understanding" … … and historical knowledge pupils must accumulate … … them to show their knowledge, skills and understanding … … skills and subject knowledge that will help them to become … … other professions, "new knowledge" is discovered all the … … the classroom reach higher levels of knowledge and skills … … essential to developing the "knowledge-driven economy“ …

25 Lifelong learning Includes initial education, continuing professional development, and post-retirement opportunities for cultural enrichment. Supporting all learners with the potential to benefit both themselves and society through participating in higher education. Europe’s universities need to develop their specific role as lifelong learning institutions “forming a central pillar of the Europe of Knowledge”. Adapted from European Universities’ Charter on Lifelong Learning (2008)

26 Education as PROCESS Inflexible Long-term goals Final evaluation
Clear distinction between formal schooling and professional training Flexible Short-term, attainable goals Continuous assessment Lifelong process Closely linked to the needs of a complex, modern society

27 Education as JOURNEY “Destinations may be specified without including an indication of the routes to be followed.” “The recent introduction of curriculum options has changed the notion of a curriculum from a straight pathway to a series of branches which offer different learning routes to each student.” D. Hamilton (1990) Learning about Education: An unfinished curriculum, Open University Press, Milton Keynes.

28 Education as JOURNEY “Destinations may be specified without including an indication of the routes to be followed.” “The recent introduction of curriculum options has changed the notion of a curriculum from a straight pathway to a series of branches which offer different learning routes to each student.” Education is a complex JOURNEY where objectives might be established, but learners can arrive at their destination via different pathways according to their aptitudes and interests. D. Hamilton (1990) Learning about Education: An unfinished curriculum, Open University Press, Milton Keynes.

29 Corpus data References (HighLow) Examples way pathway path track
route road journey find ways to, be a way forward career pathways, flexible pathways, customised pathways follow the path, offer other paths the tracking of, stay on track, to fast-track work-based route, alternative routes to along the road, roads leading to, to be at a crossroads learning journey, reflective journey

30 Describing the JOURNEY
“Teachers, who focused on giving their disabled students access to the general education curriculum, guided them on their journey along the rough highway of society. Teachers, who segregated their disabled students in order to make them fit the school’s bureaucratic structure, or because they believed that all disabled students should follow the same path, or to prepare them for a successful passage into society, encouraged the disabled students to proceed along the special lane leading to the segregated world of disability. The teachers working for group inclusion can be said, at best, to be trying to gain their students a foothold on both roads. The students heading for a nomadic life on the winding paths of the real world had a variety of teachers, some of whom tried to include them in general education classes, others who closed the road to classroom integration completely.” Adapted, for conciseness, from D.S. Bjarnason (2003), British Education Index (online)

31 Describing the JOURNEY
“Teachers, who focused on giving their disabled students access to the general education curriculum, guided them on their journey along the rough highway of society. Teachers, who segregated their disabled students in order to make them fit the school’s bureaucratic structure, or because they believed that all disabled students should follow the same path, or to prepare them for a successful passage into society, encouraged the disabled students to proceed along the special lane leading to the segregated world of disability. The teachers working for group inclusion can be said, at best, to be trying to gain their students a foothold on both roads. The students heading for a nomadic life on the winding paths of the real world had a variety of teachers, some of whom tried to include them in general education classes, others who closed the road to classroom integration completely.” In this example the author has taken an underlying conceptual metaphor and extended it in a markedly overt way. Adapted, for conciseness, from D.S. Bjarnason (2003), British Education Index (online)

32 Analysis KEY CONCEPTS ANALYSIS to be guided on a journey
A journey is not always as smooth as we would wish it to be. In this case the role of the teacher is redefined. Rather than teacher as a source of all knowledge, the metaphor TEACHER AS CARER is implicit in guiding the learner along a path. gain a foothold on the road The role of the teacher is to aid the learner in acquiring a sound basis for achieving his/her aims in life. rough highway winding paths close the road The route which a learner has to take in order to achieve success is insidious and full of hindrances, interludes and digressions, even to the extent of interrupting the educational process. follow a path proceed along a lane In order to achieve goals, the learner has to follow a pre-determined route established by educational policy. passage into society head for a nomadic life There can be a direct, planned pathway which leads to inclusion or a lack of clearly defined strategies leading to exclusion.

33 6. Teachers and teaching “He tries to give the class a good go, and we get on really well with him. He knows his stuff. He knows your weaknesses and your strengths, and he’ll sit down and talk to you the whole lesson to explain something. He’ll go round and you learn more then. He’s a very good teacher.” Secondary School pupil cited in M. Younger & M. Warrington (1999) ‘ “He’s such a nice man, but he’s so boring, you really have to make a conscious effort to learn”: the views of Gemma, Daniel and their contemporaries on teacher quality and effectiveness’ in Educational Review 51/3, pp

34 What students think … A GOOD TEACHER IS … N = 95/113 A FRIEND 42
A PARENT 16 A SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE 5 A GUIDE 3 A MODEL OR MORAL EXAMPLE A GARDENER AN ACTOR 2 A salesman, a gold digger, a UFO … - Survey of 113 Chinese students in M. Cortazzi & L. Jin (1999) ‘Bridges to learning: Metaphors of teaching, learning and language’ in L. Cameron & G. Low (eds) op. cit.

35 What students think … A GOOD TEACHER IS … N = 95/113 A FRIEND 42
A PARENT 16 A SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE 5 A GUIDE 3 A MODEL OR MORAL EXAMPLE A GARDENER AN ACTOR 2 A salesman, a gold digger, a UFO … - “She has been horrified by the amount of work on the course (most of it pointless from what I can see) and by how much teaching is like ‘being on stage all day’ .” Elly, ‘Prospective student teachers forum’, Times Educational Supplement 2004 (my data)

36 Teacher as SUPPORT In recent years there has been a move away from the teacher seen as ‘authority’ or ‘source of knowledge’. The use of terms such as ‘mentor’, ‘facilitator’, ‘counselor’, ‘tutor’, ‘coordinator’, ‘mediator’ guiding the learner along the road to positive learning outcomes is becoming increasingly common.

37 Role of the teacher Absolute authority Focus on end product
Infallible source of knowledge Ensures the attainment of rigidly established institutional goals Guide Focus on the individual Facilitates the learning process Open to negotiation Applies reflective practice in planning and operationalisation

38 Corpus data … charitable projects, including mentoring at a local primary school … … Pupils get mentors, but it doesn't affect the rest of us because … … Steve Williams is a learning mentor. At 42, it is his … … taking part in a mentoring and buddying programme set up by … … The mentors and mentees will meet for four hours a … … teacher should be a mentor or a coach who facilitates the growth of … … from school nurses to senior teaching staff to peer mentors. Responses … … Each teacher tutors at least two subjects, at primary and secondary … … at Oxford. After meeting tutors and students, and … … their application - admission tutors can recognise exaggeration a … … the local authority organised home tutoring for me … … state schools in London have been tutored, up from 36% … … from talking to a qualified counsellor to chatting … … who facilitates the growth of the child's understanding … … other out online. Mediators can give a gentle reminder that it's not … … promoted to key stage 3 co-ordinator for her vision and innovative … ... team leaders who co-ordinate groups of markers … … in his role as ICT co-ordinator in the classroom and at …

39 Teacher as … Teacher roles (High  Low) support mentor tutor
co-ordinator guide counselor facilitator mediator moderator friend peer buddy

40 Teacher as GUIDE Provides support for learners
Facilitates the learning process Efficient organiser and coordinator

41 7. Learners and learning “Human beings are unique among all living organisms in that their primary adaptive specialisation lies not in some particular physical form or skill or fit in an ecological niche, but rather in identification with the process of adaptation itself - the process of learning. We are thus the learning species, and our survival depends on our ability to adapt not only in the reactive sense of fitting into the psychological and social world, but in the proactive sense of creating and shaping those worlds.” (The italics are mine) D. Kolb (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs N.J.

42 7. Learners and learning “Human beings are unique among all living organisms in that their primary adaptive specialisation lies not in some particular physical form or skill or fit in an ecological niche, but rather in identification with the process of adaptation itself - the process of learning. We are thus the learning species, and our survival depends on our ability to adapt not only in the reactive sense of fitting into the psychological and social world, but in the proactive sense of creating and shaping those worlds.” Learning is ADAPTATION Learning is DOING

43 Learning as CYCLE The self-regulatory learning cycle FORETHOUGHT
VOLITIONAL CONTROL LEARNER AUTONOMY SELF-REFLECTION B.J. Zimmerman (1998) ‘Developing self-fulfilling cycles of academic regulation: an analysis of exemplary instructional models’ in D.H. Schunk & B.J. Zimmerman (eds) Self-Regulated Learning: From teaching to self-regulated practice, Guilford Press, New York.

44 Learner as DECISION MAKER
Learners need to take responsibility for their own growth. They need to think critically. They have to acquire the skills necessary to manage and assimilate large quantities of information. They need technical skills to deal with rapidly evolving technology.

45 Role of the learner Learning in modern society PLANNING FURTHER ACTION
ACQUISITION OF INFORMATION LEARNER AS RESOURCE FOR THE COMMUNITY CREATION OF KNOWLEDGE BASE

46 Corpus data … learning is consolidated through breaks and sleep …
… teaching, learning and learner support, and development … … the Learning and Skills Council preferred instead to believe a … … that they are taking part in some sort of learning, or who have … … individuals investing in the bulk of other learning opportunities … … an education based on less testing and more on learning to think … … says he learns as much from his students as they do from him … … staff to let the kids take responsibility for their own learning. … … time after school to be able to reflect on the day's learning … … but as part of a themed learning system her school has adopted … … using to engage children in learning everything from maths to drama … … the chance to learn by doing rather than just by reading and … … to be a profession that is continually learning and developing and … … grammar schools and "traditional", fact-based learning … … subjects, and they're so good at relating learning to real life … … Studying online offers a more flexible style of learning, which … … pupils will soon only be learning from digital texts … … would estimate that 20% of learning resources delivered to primary … … at least £2bn has been invested in learning technology …

47 Learning is ACTION Learning needs to be stimulated
Learning requires responsibility Learning needs to be consolidated Learning is a continuous process Learning should be related to real life Learning needs resources

48 8. New Technologies “Michael Moore’s theory of ‘transactional distance’ suggests that the ‘distance’ in the term ‘distance education’ refers to a distance that is more than a merely geographic separation of learners and teachers. Rather it is a “distance of understandings and perceptions, caused in part by the geographic distance, that has to be overcome by teachers, learners and educational organisations if effective, deliberate, planned learning is to occur”. This space, or interval, between the teacher and learner(s) may be seen as an important feature of all educational ‘transactions’. In a classroom situation, for example, there will be a metaphorical ‘distance’ between the understandings and perceptions of the teacher and those of the learner(s) even though they are proximate geographically. In distance education contexts, however, the transactional ‘distance’ between teacher and learner is so significant that it affects the educational process in major ways. Cited in Barrett and Lalley (1996) ‘Distance education in the Virtual Age: Supporting students with new information technologies’ in N. Hedge (ed) Going the Distance: Teaching, learning and researching in distance education, USDE, Sheffield.

49 Key concepts Transactional distance Geographic distance
Conceptual/psychological distance Very distant learning

50 Technology is ISOLATION
The term ‘distance’ implies a degree of isolation. It is for this reason that new terms have been introduced, such as ‘e-learning’. However, it is not only the terminology but our approach to employing New Technologies in education that need to undergo a constant evolution.

51 Analysis “Much of the literature designed to inform the role of the tutor in distance learning tends to be prescriptive rather than analytical. It suggests a content based approach to teaching and learning with the course materials forming the main, unassailable vehicle for the passing on of a particular body of knowledge. This is curious because many distance learning course guides for students stress the importance of engaging critically with the materials and include opportunities and encouragement for students to carry out their own enquiries.” F. Armstrong (1996) ‘Teaching and learning at a distance: Redefining the role of the teacher’ in N. Hedge (ed) op. cit.

52 Worldwide communication

53 New Technologies as NETWORK
New Technologies provide immense opportunities for communicating worldwide in real time. The Internet is an endless source of information.

54 Corpus data … each other when discussing coursework on social networking sites … … a national network of local authority-based groups and, where … … and graduate homes have other networks to fall back on when the … … the important role that social networking and other Web 2.0 systems … … by those who have money, the social networks to access good tutors … … a better teacher, and there is a fantastic support network in our … … traditionally large network of community, voluntary and sporting … … transmit lessons to the school computer network to monitor the … … of children are using social networking sites … … the current social networking trend could have a negative impact on … … But online networking isn't necessarily "bad", says children's … … charity the NSPCC. Safe social networking sites can be a positive … … report on the impact of social networks last year, 99% of children … … opportunity to network with children in other parts of the world … … learn about blogging and social networking sites such as Twitter … … If you have a social networking account, do not 'friend' pupils … … through text messages, s and social networking sites …

55 Network as COMMUNITY Storing information Accessing information
Exchanging information/knowledge Creating an interface between interactive/multimedia materials and participants.

56 Teacher as MEDIATOR Teachers have a multiple role in e-learning: expert in their field, organisation of resources and materials, evaluation of learners’ progress. They need to be able to manage, experiment and constantly update technical resources for teaching. They are responsible for creating a close-knit learning community. They should accept that the educational process is negotiable.

57 Technology as THRESHOLD
Creation of a learning community. More openness to interdisciplinary approaches. Access to an immense variety of knowledge sources. Interactive resources which allow learners to reflect constantly on their progress and their objectives. Opportunity to relate coursework to the outside world.

58 Conclusion “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire” (W.B. Yeats )

59 WELCOME TO Language Futures : Languages in Higher Education 2012
5th & 6th July 2012 Edinburgh #LLASconf2012


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