Secondary Teachers' Conceptual Metaphors of Teaching and Learning: Changes Over The Career Span

Jul. 02, 2009

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 25, Issue 5, pages 743-751 (July 2009).

Much has been written about the persistence of teacher beliefs upon entering and exiting preservice teacher education programs. Little research has investigated teacher beliefs over the career span. Through an online survey instrument, 110 teachers choose which teaching metaphors most closely match their own under three conditions: upon first entering the profession, at present, and ideally.
Analysis indicates that 63% of teachers changed their conception of teaching over time. While very experienced teachers began teaching with teacher-centered conceptual metaphors, over the course of their careers some move toward student-centered metaphors. Newer teachers have a tendency to begin with and aspire to student-centered conceptual metaphors. Teachers whose metaphors for current and desired practice differed identified obstacles to, and suggestions for, a better fit.

Updated: Jun. 10, 2009