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Metaphors we compute by.... Hammer, eye glass and... the metaphor acts as a toolthe metaphor acts as a tool the metaphor is a tool for thoughtthe metaphor.

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Presentation on theme: "Metaphors we compute by.... Hammer, eye glass and... the metaphor acts as a toolthe metaphor acts as a tool the metaphor is a tool for thoughtthe metaphor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Metaphors we compute by...

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3 Hammer, eye glass and... the metaphor acts as a toolthe metaphor acts as a tool the metaphor is a tool for thoughtthe metaphor is a tool for thought the metaphor is a means of extending our cognitive capacitythe metaphor is a means of extending our cognitive capacity

4 Three aspects of metaphors CompactnessCompactness VividnessVividness Inexpressibility >>>Inexpressibility >>>>>>

5 Metaphoric terms The modelThe model The productThe product The tensionThe tension

6 Linearity and the metaphor The metaphor as a speech actThe metaphor as a speech act The constructivist would say…The constructivist would say… The behaviourist would say…The behaviourist would say…

7 Metaphoric terms –I have taken these two words to describe that aspect of the real or known world (the model) on which a new system or structure is to be based (the product). Other authors use different terms including: topic, tenor, vehicle, ground (Richards 1956b). Black 1962b developed the interaction theory of metaphors. It is one of the earliest attempts to define metaphors and distinguish between those functional metaphors existing to promote a greater understanding and those that exist simply as a literary instrument to make writing more interesting. (He interestingly compares metaphors with games and Wittgenstein's (1953) assertion that there is no such thing as a game. The metaphor (game) is as real as the system that it is based upon. Importantly, that metaphors are studied as pragmatics (acts and conditions) and not semantics (meanings)(Stalnaker 1972). In the educational use of metaphor we are concerned with cognition and here Black's treaty is strong and illuminating in identifying the metaphor as a cognitive instrument.

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9 Vividness and the metaphor The metaphor brings alive the experience. It puts colour to the picture. The mountainside is a picture in everyone's mind. (The small girl of the 1970's saying that she prefers stories on the radio to stories on the television because on the radio they are more colourful and more real.) The metaphor uses that feature of the mind that inter-relates the topic in hand with previous experiences - adding colour, structure and emotion.The metaphor brings alive the experience. It puts colour to the picture. The mountainside is a picture in everyone's mind. (The small girl of the 1970's saying that she prefers stories on the radio to stories on the television because on the radio they are more colourful and more real.) The metaphor uses that feature of the mind that inter-relates the topic in hand with previous experiences - adding colour, structure and emotion.

10 Like most science educators, I tell lies. The best demonstration I've seen of the ‘phases of the moon’ took place in a darkened lecture theatre with 90 would-be teachers seeing a Heath Robinson driven globe, a football and a torch. The script goes '… and this [pointing to the torch] is the sun and this [pointing to the football] is the moon' and for the next minute in the minds of sane adults that truth is solid and the learning is secured. The house lights go up, the spell is broken - it's just a torch and an ordinary football but the phases of the moon are 'understood'.The best demonstration I've seen of the ‘phases of the moon’ took place in a darkened lecture theatre with 90 would-be teachers seeing a Heath Robinson driven globe, a football and a torch. The script goes '… and this [pointing to the torch] is the sun and this [pointing to the football] is the moon' and for the next minute in the minds of sane adults that truth is solid and the learning is secured. The house lights go up, the spell is broken - it's just a torch and an ordinary football but the phases of the moon are 'understood'.

11 Inexpressibility The inexpressibility of some concepts in mere nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs forces to use other cognitive devices.The inexpressibility of some concepts in mere nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs forces to use other cognitive devices.

12 Inexpressibility and the metaphor. The literary application of the metaphor enables writers to express feelings of love, hope, wonder and pain through the physical, practical and everyday experience. The metaphor means that when we are at a loss for words then the substitute can be used.The literary application of the metaphor enables writers to express feelings of love, hope, wonder and pain through the physical, practical and everyday experience. The metaphor means that when we are at a loss for words then the substitute can be used.

13 A poem… The mountain sat upon the plain, Hat so white and shoulders grey. Her children sat about her feet, In verdant green and golden ray. Aged by time measured in aeons, Mother of all she purveyed. Wrinkled, creviced by worry and care, Creator, protector and maid. <<<

14 The metaphor is just a tool. I would like to propose another tool that supports memory and learning.I would like to propose another tool that supports memory and learning.

15 The metaphor is just a tool. The 'writing frame' as another tool for enhancing memory and learning. Like the metaphor, the writing frame creates a structure to the data, the structure enables the more efficient construction of the informationThe 'writing frame' as another tool for enhancing memory and learning. Like the metaphor, the writing frame creates a structure to the data, the structure enables the more efficient construction of the information

16 The metaphor is just a tool. 'I'm going to tell you a story'. Everyone expects a start and an end and looks out for the boundaries of setting the scene and summing up or the punch line.'I'm going to tell you a story'. Everyone expects a start and an end and looks out for the boundaries of setting the scene and summing up or the punch line.

17 The metaphor is just a tool. 'I'm going to tell you the story of how the computer learnt to control the lighthouse'; this story has a plot (an intellectual thread) with characters that are introduced; they come into and out of the plot and have a bearing upon the final outcome.'I'm going to tell you the story of how the computer learnt to control the lighthouse'; this story has a plot (an intellectual thread) with characters that are introduced; they come into and out of the plot and have a bearing upon the final outcome.

18 The metaphor is just a tool. The writing frame structures our thinking about the linearly perceived/experienced story and places upon it a two or three or more dimensioned understanding.The writing frame structures our thinking about the linearly perceived/experienced story and places upon it a two or three or more dimensioned understanding.

19 The metaphor is just a tool. However, I have now used a metaphor relating the writing frame to good teaching practice and have better described the good 'lesson' by saying it IS a story with all the facets of a story described by our understanding of a story drawn out through our use of writing frames.However, I have now used a metaphor relating the writing frame to good teaching practice and have better described the good 'lesson' by saying it IS a story with all the facets of a story described by our understanding of a story drawn out through our use of writing frames.

20 The metaphor is just a tool. I therefore conclude that the metaphor is the 'supertool' of literature and learning.I therefore conclude that the metaphor is the 'supertool' of literature and learning.

21 The danger of the pragmatic metaphor. By selecting a metaphor that is to be accepted by many it will be immediately scrutinised for weaknesses. We believe that the metaphor is only as strong as its weakest link. The existence of a single tension between the model and the product brings discredit to the metaphor.By selecting a metaphor that is to be accepted by many it will be immediately scrutinised for weaknesses. We believe that the metaphor is only as strong as its weakest link. The existence of a single tension between the model and the product brings discredit to the metaphor. (This contrasts to the literature world where the tensions heighten contrast and make the metaphor more vivid.)(This contrasts to the literature world where the tensions heighten contrast and make the metaphor more vivid.)

22 The danger of the pragmatic metaphor. Tension between model and product in a teaching metaphorTension between model and product in a teaching metaphor

23 Metaphor characteristics complete - the totality of the product should be represented by elements in the modelcomplete - the totality of the product should be represented by elements in the model coherent - the level of detail should be appropriate to the needs of the learnerscoherent - the level of detail should be appropriate to the needs of the learners concrete - the structures and actions of the metaphor should be obvious to the learnerconcrete - the structures and actions of the metaphor should be obvious to the learner conceptual - the underlying concepts should be clearconceptual - the underlying concepts should be clear correct - where a tension exists this should be clarifiedcorrect - where a tension exists this should be clarified considerate - the metaphor should use appropriate vocabulary and representationconsiderate - the metaphor should use appropriate vocabulary and representation Based upon the work of Mayer (1989) the following characteristics are indicators of an effective metaphor: complete, coherent, concrete, conceptual, correct and considerate.

24 The big one 1990’s computer metaphors - the desktop.1990’s computer metaphors - the desktop. That metaphor is worthy of and has been treated to much analysis.That metaphor is worthy of and has been treated to much analysis.

25 Desktop, Director and the walled garden The computer screen is the desktopThe computer screen is the desktop I would like to consider a slightly more narrow metaphor adopted by a leading software company MacromediaI would like to consider a slightly more narrow metaphor adopted by a leading software company MacromediaMacromedia The Walled GardenThe Walled Garden

26 Close The metaphor is a linguistic tool that has moved from linguistics to pragmaticsThe metaphor is a linguistic tool that has moved from linguistics to pragmatics The ‘product’ based upon the ‘model’ enables better cognitive processingThe ‘product’ based upon the ‘model’ enables better cognitive processing Metaphors relate to compactness, vividness and inexpressibilityMetaphors relate to compactness, vividness and inexpressibility The metaphor is popular in the world of computingThe metaphor is popular in the world of computing

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