Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Metaphors for Learning

1. Planting flowers -- A seed is planted in my mind which I nurture with water and sun in the faith that it will sprout and grow.

2. Playing cards -- I divide things into four categories and look for patterns across the suits until the logic and meaning emerges and I know which card to play.

3. Savings account -- I invest the time to accumulate data and information until there is enough interest that I can roll it over into the next idea.

4. Switching on a light bulb -- It's not until the light switches on that I have an insight or an 'ah ha'.

5. Eating -- You need to take in the basic meat and potatoes before you get to the mouth-watering dessert.

6. Being a detective -- It's all about uncovering the facts, looking for clues and asking the right questions until the whole mystery makes sense.

7. Peeling an onion -- I peel off a layer which reveals the next layer to be peeled off. Each time something teIls me I'm get closer to the core of the matter.

8. A quest -- I'm searching for that illusive something and every step I take brings me closer to what I need to know, but I never get there ... it's a continuous journey.

9. Sculpting -- You start with the raw material and shape it into a form that's pleasing to the eye.

10. Wrestling -- I struggle with the ideas until they're pinned down and I've captured them.

What other metaphors can you think of?


mohanashan said...

Metaphors for learning

It was fun being able to interact with the all the participants today at the SLATT training. We discussed about the metaphors for learning. Different groups came up with their own methaphors which was quite interesting and unique.
We had metaphors like "FIVE STAR HOTEL, THE CANDLE, THE ROAD and THE POTTER'S HANDS". I taught the " The five star hotel" was good because they associated learning with hotel. I am sure that many of us have the perception that hotel is very relaxing, laid back, holiday time and lots of fun. Of course, there were debates in the class about associating hotel with learning but Ben inteligently commented that classroom is like a playground. I totally agree with him because I think learning should not be tedious. Students do need to have a bit of fun in the class and this makes them to absorb the knowledge in a non-threatening way.We can have fun but learn at the same time. Next, was the candle. We do know that teachers are always associated with candels because they are the protectors and always give the students hope to succeed in their life. They protect the students from any negative influences and pass them the knowledge. Some of us did mention that teachers sacrifice themselves for the students just like the candle where it burns just to bring light to the darkness. I am sure that we will be remembered by the students one day for this reason. 'The potter's hands', was about moulding the student to become a better person in the future. One of the group members, mentioned that the learning process before the students go to school is important. The first teaching takes place at home with their parents. You have to mould the kids when they are young just like the clay when it is still wet.Lastly,' the road'. It was clearly presented that learning is like a road where it has its discoveries, challenges, navigations, destination and finally the journey that continues. It is a never ending journey just like learning. It continues till the day we die.

masrynna ahmad said...

Being educators ourselves, we do agree that there are some clashes and conflicts between the ideals and the reality of teaching or to be exact here learning.

This would include students who do not want to follow the directions
even though there are signages and instructions and navigations or students who will play with fire instead let the candle burn quietly, or students who will retaliate, and refuse to be moulded? and students who see that hotel and learning have no connections, instead they will just stay in the hotel and commit vandalism of the hotel property?

I might sound very sckeptical, however most of us must have encounter these so-called not-so-nice experiences in which make us a better educator if we know to handle these tumults well....I reckon that will be the challange!!

Alan Le Bras said...

Metaphor Number 6: the detective.

The metaphor does apply to some extent to learning foreign languages. When using the integrated approach, students gets to play a more active role in their learning process. They get to ask questions: both to the lecturer and to themselves and their activity partners. The main objective here for the foreign language lecturer is to get the students to ask questions openly, regardless of their pertinence, for there's no "good" or "bad" question within the language class. Each and every question may raise a linguistic problem, or even better be leading the other students to further deductions of a basic or more complex grammatical rule.