Metaphor Instruction in One English Teacher's Classroom: His Understandings, Instructional Practices, and Attitudes
Schugar, Jordan T.
Slater, Wayne H.
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In this case study, I describe one high quality English teacher's understandings, instructional practices, and attitudes towards explicit and direct metaphor instruction. In this study I focused on ecological validity because the participating English teacher, and his classroom, have been studied under real-world and authentic circumstances. The participating English teacher was selected based on a pre-existing set of established criteria. Specifically, the participating English teacher was state licensed in English teaching, has demonstrated a commitment to the field of English education through promotions and recommendations, and had a willingness and the time to allow his pedagogy, and those variables that influence his pedagogy to be studied. An independent school was selected as the site for this study because of the particular heavy emphasis on reading literature and for convenient research access. This research has the potential to make two important contributions to the research and theory of metaphor instruction. First, by studying a high quality English teacher's understandings, instructional practices, and attitudes I am able to describe some of those variables that have influenced the students' comprehension of literal and figurative language in this particularly rich literature environment such as learning critical reading skills. Second, using, applying, and understanding metaphors is more than just simply comparing two unlike things, and by contrasting current metaphor theory to the prevailing definitions English teachers have been using in their classrooms, I am able to make recommendations regarding needed research and practice in this important line of inquiry.