Pre-service teachers' metaphors of teaching and literacy
Shaw, Donita J.
Mahlios, Marc C.
Taylor & Francis
Scholarly/refereed, author accepted manuscript
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The purpose of this study was to examine pre-service elementary teachers’ metaphors of teaching and literacy and then relate their metaphorical images of literacy to content presented in the reading methods course. Specifically, fifty-two participants generated responses to open-ended statements, “Teaching is. . .” and “Literacy is. . .” Results indicated that the pre-service teachers’ metaphors could be grouped into eleven themes for teaching and fourteen themes for literacy. Two themes of teaching that arose in previous research, nurturing and guiding, were evident in the responses of this population as well, illustrating their commonality and perhaps universal nature. The primary literacy theme was the parts/ingredients metaphor (N=8). Four dominant metaphors of literacy were identified: sequence of knowledge and skill, parts that come together as a whole, foundation of life, and journey. Twenty-three (or 44%) of the pre-service teachers wrote metaphors that related to content presented in the reading methods course. We advocate that future research should solicit pre-service teachers’ metaphors of literacy early in the teacher preparation program and students should be taught to examine their metaphors throughout the course of study. Further, novice teachers should be followed into the classroom and monitored as they engage in learning to teach. We believe the metaphor will continue to be a powerful conceptual means for framing and defining teachers’ awareness of their beliefs.
This is the authors' accepted manuscript, post peer-review. The publisher's official version can be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02702710701568397
Massengill, D., & Mahlios, M. (2008). Pre-service teachers’ metaphors of teaching and literacy. Reading Psychology, 29(1), 31-60.
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