About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1049-1052
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain

BUILDING COMMUNITY AND MAKING KNOWLEDGE PERSONAL: USING METAPHORS WITH DIVERSE GRADUATE STUDENTS

S. Harris-Blackburn, D. Vera

Texas A&M University San Antonio (UNITED STATES)
This best practice instructional study was conducted to look into the effectiveness of using metaphors to increase learning and build community within the graduate college classroom. In preparation for future teachers, it is relevant to teacher education because of the increasing need to understand student cognition about pedagogy taught in higher education. Teacher educators are under more scrutiny to assure that teacher candidates and Masters Candidates not only have the knowledge to pass certification / specialist tests but also have the attitudes, dispositions and beliefs that will foster success for all students in the diverse classrooms of today (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education [AACTE], 2009). Therefore, it is our charge as professors, to provide research-based, meaningful instructional strategies so that each student can construct their own meaning-making thus providing both an effective and affective classroom.

The source of subjects for this study were 40 graduate students in classes (EDEC 5335 and EDRG 5438) taught by the investigators. A reading professor and early childhood professor both assigned metaphors to their graduate classes as an assignment. Both classes had students that were pursuing their Masters Degree in either Reading or Early Childhood. Additionally, some students in both classes were pursuing initial certification while working toward their graduate degree. Further, there were some students who were not education majors.

Students were very apprehensive knowing that they would be creating a metaphor to show their professors and classmates what they learned about the course content. Throughout the semester, many conversations arose, and dialogue between students emerged. Discussions about main ideas, themes, relevance to personal lives, “what if’s” occurred on a frequent basis. Once we reached the end of the semester, students were excited to show off their creativity and explain what they know and how they know it. Students felt proud of their work and safe in sharing their personal connections of the content to the class. Knowledge of the content and communities in practice were evident in their final presentations. Pictures were taken of final projects and then the post test was administered. Data from the pre and post tests indicate a 41.29% increase in mean scores from a 5.835 to an 8.244. This shows promising results in students learned content knowledge. Not only was the assignment fun and relevant to students but obvious during class perceptions that metaphors made a difference in students learning, The quantitative data supports this finding as well. In addition, four students student and based on the past five years of exam scores, rated highest in relation to other exams. Although this increase cannot be directly related to the metaphor assignment, the outcome is positive and worth exploring. Arguably, using metaphors enriches the graduate experience for students and allows them to remember content based on their personal experiences and the experiences of others.
@InProceedings{HARRISBLACKBURN2013BUI,
author = {Harris-Blackburn, S. and Vera, D.},
title = {BUILDING COMMUNITY AND MAKING KNOWLEDGE PERSONAL: USING METAPHORS WITH DIVERSE GRADUATE STUDENTS},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {1049-1052}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Harris-Blackburn AU - D. Vera
TI - BUILDING COMMUNITY AND MAKING KNOWLEDGE PERSONAL: USING METAPHORS WITH DIVERSE GRADUATE STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 1049
EP - 1052
ER -
S. Harris-Blackburn, D. Vera (2013) BUILDING COMMUNITY AND MAKING KNOWLEDGE PERSONAL: USING METAPHORS WITH DIVERSE GRADUATE STUDENTS, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 1049-1052.
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