Metaphors as tool of inquiry: Detecting the different views of pre-service and in-service teachers

Ebner, Hermann G. ; Lehmann, Birgit

Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2013
Conference title: 15th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction
Location of the conference venue: TU München
Date of the conference: 27.-31.08.2013
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Wirtschaftspädagogik I (Ebner 1992-2017, Em)
Subject: 330 Economics
370 Education
Abstract: One of the most important challenges in education is to recruit and qualify the most eligible persons for the demanding job “teacher” to assure a high quality of instructional activities. Therefore, it seems to be worthwhile trying to get clues of prospective teaching behavior before admission or in an early stage of qualifying respectively. According to the Cognitive Theory of the Metaphor (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980), metaphors are influential mental models. There is some evidence that they regulate how we perceive, think, and act. Thus, a reliable and valid metaphor-based instrument could be helpful for getting such clues concerning student teachers’ prospective instructional activities efficiently. The aim of the study to be presented is to validate our step-by-step developed tool of inquiry using metaphors to describe student teachers’ thinking about instructional activities. Beyond, we investigate significant differences in the selection of metaphors at different stages and circumstances in their teaching career. Students from the area “Economic and Business Education” (n=317) and teachers (n=365) from nine vocational schools completed a questionnaire. The instrument consists of 28 metaphors. Exploratory factor analysis and t-test for independent measures are conducted. 20 metaphors can be classified in four subscales: (1) KNOWLEDGE WORK (α=0.890), (2) SOCIAL SUPPORT (α=0.770), (3) GOAL-/LEARNER-ORIENTATED LEADING (α=0.729), and (4) DETERMINATE & DETERMINATING ACTIVITY (α=0.706), which explained 57.4% of variance. Differences between the views of pre-service and in-service teachers are found. On this account, this predetermined set of metaphors seems to be a useful tool in the above mentioned area of application.

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