Critical Issues in Teacher Education


Bessette, H. & Paris, N.A. (2016) Drawing on metaphors of teaching to elicit reflexive thinking.

This paper describes the findings of a study that involved the generation of metaphors by practicing educators to promote reflexive thought, recognized today as one of the most viable and vigorous tools for troubling and influencing P-12 educational practice (Bolton, 2010). A total of 23 educators enrolled in an advanced graduate teacher education program beyond the master’s level were first asked to construct a written (verbal) metaphor to depict their lived experiences as teachers and/or learners. Participants were then asked to create an original drawing to approximate their espoused metaphor. Educators’ drawings were analyzed for apparent features and traits as well as fidelity to their written metaphor. Preliminary findings suggest that the process of identifying and producing a written (verbal) metaphor, augmented by the creation of its pictorial (i.e., drawing) counterpart, fosters deliberation around the work teachers do, challenges their thought processes and gives them varying degrees of agency as reflexive practitioners. Implications are discussed.

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