Metaphoric patterns in the representation of preservice English teachers' professional identities

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    The power of a metaphor lies in its rich suggestiveness of meaning beyond the surface level. It may invite surprising and sometimes paradoxical comparisons, unexpected lexical choices, and inventiveness with language. This case study analyses the metaphors that preservice English teachers select to portray their professional identities. The four dominant metaphorical patterns that emerge from their written descriptions and the nature of these image clusters provide considerable insight into the teachers' emergent professional selves. The teachers' various representations resonate with highly individualised pictures of the unity of the personal and professional self. Recognition of this highlights the importance of allowing professional learning to occur in a climate of supportive engagement with a diversity of pedagogical approaches, content knowledge, and educational contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)93-106
    Number of pages14
    JournalEducational Practice and Theory
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • preservice English teachers
    • self-selected metaphoric comparisons
    • emergent professional identity
    • metaphor
    • the self


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