ERIC Number: ED400463
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jun
Firestarters and Outfitters: Metaphors of Adult Education.
Fenwick, Tara J.
Approximately 65 adult educators enrolled in 4 courses toward a certificate in Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Alberta, Canada, were introduced to Deshler's (1990) process of creating and analyzing personal metaphors of practice. They developed a metaphor to describe their practice and shared it in small groups that helped extend, clarify, and respond to each metaphoric picture through dialogue. Analysis examined both the content of the metaphors and the process through which participants constructed them. The educators' written and oral descriptions of metaphors were examined in terms of the way these images represented the teaching-learning process. Findings included the following: the metaphor-making process was distinctly unique for each person; it was a self-validation; it helped educators understand other educators; and participants were reluctant to deconstruct their personal metaphors. Six general themes emerged in the metaphoric representations of the role of adult educator: adult educator as tour guide, firestarter, outfitter, caregiver, dispenser, and good host. Overall, the key characteristics of the role of the adult educator, illustrated in personal metaphors of practice developed by practicing educators, emphasized the educator as a nurturing guide to help learners explore or consume something already there. (Contains 16 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (24th, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, June 4-7, 1996).