Metaphor And Learning Essay

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When explaining new material to students, educators frequently employ metaphor during their lectures to make new, difficult material simpler and more accessible to the student than it otherwise would be. This teaching technique is logical: metaphors provide the link between immaterial, complex target domains of knowledge and readily understandable source domains that the students have been exposed to in their everyday lives, in order to make the new information comprehensible to the learner. In “Metaphor and Learning,” Hugh Petrie and Rebecca Oshlag assert that metaphors are essential to the learning process: “metaphor, or something much like it, is what renders possible and intelligible the acquisition of new knowledge” (Petrie and Oshlag …show more content…
In the fifth chapter of Biology, Peter Raven and George Johnson demonstrate the pedagogical functionality of metaphor by “highlighting” (Kövecses 91) the biological function of cell membranes through the underlying descriptive structural megametaphors CELL MEMBRANE IS A WALL and TRANSPORT PROTEINS ARE DOORS and the mappings between them, and by “hiding” (Kövecses 92) other aspects of this concept. Throughout this chapter, Peter Raven and George Johnson pair these main conceptual metaphors with visual portrayals of transport proteins that enable molecules to pass through the “wall” of the cell, in order to develop a stronger connection within the brain of the learner between the abstract concept of the CELL MEMBRANE and the concept of walls, and preparing learners for the process of conversion that Thomas Kuhn called the “paradigm shift” (Kuhn 150), strengthening the argument that educators rely on metaphors to assist with the explanation of abstract domains in a specific field to improve

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