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ERIC Number: ED416953
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Power of Metaphor in Qualitative Research: Building Community in a Kindergarten around the Large Table.
Vasconcelos, Teresa
Using as a starting point the painting "Las Meninas" by Velasquez, which depicts the painter within his painting, this paper discusses the interpretive paradigm in research and, within it, the value of metaphor as a research tool. Example situations from an ethnographic study of a master teacher and her kindergarten in Lisbon are used to describe the value of this approach. The paper claims that Velasquez's painting provides a powerful image to describe what interpretive research is all about: The painter is inside the painting--as he paints others, he is painting himself. In other words, in the interpretive paradigm, the researcher is inside the research situation and cannot be an outsider. The paper maintains that metaphor can be used within research as a sophisticated conceptual structure, as the imaginative rationality which illuminates the experience, and as a way of creating new gestalts. It is noted that during the study of the master teacher, the metaphor of the "Large Table" emerged, much like King Arthur's Round Table, as the center of power and community-building in the classroom. This metaphor provided coherence and descriptive strength to the study's naturalistic observations. The paper includes a model of interpretive research procedures and theoretical background. (Contains 51 references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Portugal