Discussing education by means of metaphors

Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (10):947-956 (2018)
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Metaphors help us understand a concept by resorting to the imaginary because it is sometimes difficult to do so through the use of words alone. Thinkers have made use of metaphors to not only describe ‘falling in love’, ‘the pain of losing someone dear to us’, but also to describe particular concepts both in arts and sciences. In fact, the use of metaphors in some disciplines, particularly the sciences, is now regarded as something essential for the development of the field. We note that influential philosophers of education, such as Martin Buber, Paulo Freire, Michael Apple, Gert Biesta and Ilan Gur-Ze’ev have also made use of metaphors to discuss education and specific issues in educational contexts. In this article, we do two things: we discuss the methodological importance of metaphors in helping us make better sense of concepts and particular problems; building on this methodological discussion, we critically discuss the problems posed by the current processes of ‘marketisation’ and ‘learnification’ in education. We conclude by arguing that metaphors do not provide us with ultimate answers to the problems we face; rather, they help us unveil a diversity of novel perspectives and a world of new possibilities.



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Alex Guilherme
Liverpool Hope University

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Kabbalah, education, and prayer: Jewish learning in the seventeenth century.Gerold Necker - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (6-7):621-630.

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