Metaphors for Teaching and Learning My ideas... ... about teaching and learning. Karen Kelly Feb 2, 2010
1. A Teacher is: Several of the agents that contribute to the natural process of succession include sunlight, water, minerals, wind, fire, insects and disease. A teacher is an agent in the process of Natural Succession. A teacher enters (and leaves) the life of a student (plant) at a certain stage in their growth. A teacher contributes to the molding and shaping (growing) of the student. Like nature, a teacher participates as an agent by feeding, weeding, and/or pruning the individual student. an agent of natural succession. A Learner is: A student, or learner, is at a certain stage in their growth or succession. Just as a plant is at a certain stage in succession. The learning of the student will depend on where they are with respect to their growth and their needs when they are introduced to a teacher. (Just as the plants type of growth depends on its stage in Succession at any given time.) Each student will benefit from their teacher in different ways depending on the the experiences they receive (water, sunlight, minerals, etc.) and how they will use them to grow. Some learners will experience faster or slower or different types of growth, and some will experience set-backs.(wind, fire, disease, insects, etc.) a plant in the natural landscape. Photo on previous page courtesy of: http://www.tvcc.edu/depts/biology/Native%20Habitat/ecological_succession.htm
2.A Teacher is: A teacher is some of the scuba diving gear needed to survive under the water. When the right tools and the necessary information are provided for the diver, then the scuba diving gear works properly. The teacher offers some of the gear (and information of how to use it) in scuba diving. part of the scuba diving gear. A Learner is: A learner is a scuba diver. When provided with the tools and necessary information to dive, a scuba diver is then equipped to go out and experience the ocean. A teacher will be only one of the providers of gear and information. The learner takes the information given from each provider of scuba diving gear, and becomes well on their way to be a life-long diver. They can then use those foundational tools to explore all the great things that are available in the reef. They can also keep adding to their experiences by collecting more and more information and gear. a scuba diver. Photo on previous page courtesy of: Karen Kelly, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 2004.
3.A Teacher is: A teacher is one of many artists that helps to weave the inner threads of a specific fabric (student). Each addition of thread is selected carefully to provide the ingredients for a unique fabric. (type, color, texture, pattern, etc.) A member of a guild of textile artists. A Learner is: A learner is the fabric created by the artists. Each thread that makes up the fabric has been provided by many of the artists. In the end the product is a piece of art. The product (learner) has developed from many characteristics. Some characteristics may be more similar to some fabrics than others just like traits that learners develop from the teachers they are exposed to. The fabric created by the artists. Photo on previous page courtesy of: http://fabric-warehouse.net/nss-folder/pictures/hoffman_fabrics.jpg
4.A Teacher is: A teacher is a share-holder in the business of wine-making. The teachers responsibility in the business may be to focus on one aspect of crushing, fermenting, filtering, tasting, and/or bottling the grapes. They also may need to provide product knowledge, or to be innovative in creating a marketable product. The teacher is a key partner in running the business of producing wine. a share-holder in the business of wine-making. A Learner is: A learner is ultimately the unique wine that has been created by the Vinters. However, should the learner not be involved in several of the crucial wine making steps, then they may not end up being "award winning" wine. They may end up being vinegar. the grapes, and (hopefully) the wine produced. Photo on previous page courtesy of: http-_www.wrapables.com_images_product_A59016.jpg
5.A Teacher is: A teacher is a wetsuit. A teacher provides a surfer with a wetsuit (their parents supplied the surfboard) with which they are able to use to get out on the waves and surf. Without this wetsuit, they may still be able to surf, but with it they will surf many more places, longer, bigger, etc. This is compared with a teacher providing a learner with some of the information they need in life to be successful in the rough ocean of life. a wetsuit. A Learner is: A learner is a surfer. They require a board, a wet suit (not always, but they will do better with it), and skills to ride the waves. All of the experiences that learners take in represent the "stuff" that they need to surf. The more "stuff" they acquire, generally the better and more varied surfer they are. a surfer. Photo on previous page courtesy of: http-_www.flickr.com_photos_mikebaird_4178330670.jpg
6.A Teacher is: A teacher is a traveler. A teacher is always going different places, traveling by different means, packing different luggage, and learning different culture(s), etc. A teacher embarks on a journey every time they enter a relationship with a new student. They could go many places, do many things and exchange many experiences. The traveling can be life-changing for the teacher. The teacher as a traveler, is a learner, and the more they learn, the better they teach. a traveler. A Learner is: A learner is also a traveler. A learner is always going different places, traveling by different means, packing different luggage, and learning different culture, etc. A learner embarks on a journey every time they enter a relationship with a new teacher. They could go many places, do many things and exchange many experiences. The traveling could be life-changing for the learner. a traveler. Photo on previous page courtesy of: http://www.shorebirdworld.org/art/photos/week1/loading_cessna.jpg
7.A Teacher is: A teacher is a dentist. They are a leading member of a team conducting dentistry. Without the rest of the team sharing in the making of important decisions, they cannot be successful in each procedure they do. The dentist works intimately with assistants, hygienists, patients, and receptionists. This represents the idea that a teacher works with many other professionals, as well as each individual student, and shares the responsibilities with the stake-holders (including the learner). There is power for all stake-holders to make in making decisions in each dentistry process. a dentist. A Learner is: A learner is a dental patient involved in making important decisions about their mouth. They are involved in making choices about prevention, repair, maintenance, and/or cosmetic dentistry. This represents the idea that a learner has the power to make choices about their learning. They choose the direction they want to take, and how they want to get there. a dental patient. Photos on previous page courtesy of: http://www.eaganvalleydental.com/images/kidsmile.jpg, and http://drdonblair.com/sites/drdonblair/images/Don_Working.jpg.
8.A Teacher is: A teacher is a magician. They need to entertain the learners to keep them engaged. They need to have a lot of variety in their "bag of tricks" appropriate for the age group that they are entertaining. They also need to have many things for the audience to see with lots of action and changes. a magician A Learner is: A learner is a member of the magicians audience. A learner needs many types of stimuli coming at them from all angles to keep them interested and engaged. The learner also tends to enjoy becoming a part of the magicians show. It keeps them actively involved and "doing" their learning. a member of the audience. Photo on previous page courtesy of: http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2006/09/29/magic_wideweb__470x326,0.jpg
9.A Teacher is: A teacher is a rider on a roller coaster. A teacher rides many ups and downs with learners. A teacher takes many different rides in their career. a teacher rides the emotional roller coaster waves that their students take them on. A ride can elicit many emotions and feelings. It can be very scary, exhilarating, or it can be just o.k. But one thing that a ride never is, is boring. A rider must choose the right roller coaster to ride because they put enormous trust in the roller coasters ability to keep the coasters on track. a roller coaster rider. A Learner is: A learner is a roller coaster with many cars at different locations for different riders to hop into. Once it starts its trip, it is a ride of a life-time. Each roller coaster or learner is different. Each roller coaster collects their riders and offer different ups and downs, different paces, and different configurations. Each is made of different materials, of different colors, and each has a different impact on its riders. a roller coaster. Photo on previous page courtesy of: http-_www.flickr.com_photos_adactio_297867499_.jpg
10.A Teacher is: A teacher is a yogi learning yoga moves. Each yoga move is very specific and requires a life-time of practice. To do the yoga moves well, one needs to practice them often. In fact, perfect practice makes perfect. The act of doing yoga moves (or teaching) regularly keeps one fit, on their hands (or toes), young, full of spirit, and healthy. a yogi A Learner is: A learner is the discipline of yoga. Each day a learner(s) subjects a teacher to a series of physical and mental disciplines including patterns and routines that keep the teacher doing their yoga move(s) as correctly as possible. The learner(s) keeps the teacher in check so that the yoga moves are done properly. Sometimes the yoga moves are not correct and the teacher falls. The learner is there to make them get back and re-try. The learner can teach the teacher new yoga moves, and thus the learner can make the teacher become a better teacher by learning. the discipline of yoga. Photo on previous page courtesy of: http-_www.chinadaily.com.cn_world_images_attachement_jpg_site1_20090424_0022190fd3300b5b706e3b.jpg