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ERIC Number: ED306574
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
English Studies and the Metaphors We Live By.
Gradin, Sherrie L.
Metaphors affect the way teachers and students see, think, and act, and can be useful in building models to empower students. Three models and their metaphorical foundations are currently at work in pedagogical stances attempting to empower students: (1) the conflict metaphor; (2) the midwife metaphor; and (3) the web metaphor. A metaphor of conflict is built through a rhetoric of aggression that is exclusionary and defeating; in spite of the beneficial side to this model of struggle, the negative can outweigh the positive. The metaphorical construct of teacher as midwife leads to "connected" teaching and learning. The midwife image views the teacher as a conductor of knowledge. This model may be difficult for the male to internalize, and it appears to view teachers as passive. Yet, teachers must be actively present to help students grapple with positive aspects of the struggle inherent in this model: conflicting voices, challenges, difficult ideas, and strenuous reading and writing tasks. Finally, the metaphor of the web may be more easily internalized by male teachers and students, and it implies more structure than that of the midwife metaphor. The web metaphor suggests that students already have the authority and voice with which to spin their own interpretations and conversations about texts. When connected to a model of writing, the metaphor both suggests a final product and views writing as a process. English educators need to choose the best metaphors to empower students. (MM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A