Fix, build, diagnose or guide? Evaluating the metaphors for learning advisors

Clinton Golding, Lee Adam, Carole Scott, Carole Acheson, Karen Johnson, Pauline Brook, Angela McLean, Nell Smith, Margaret Kumar, Carol Hunter, Vijay Kumar

Abstract


Learning advising, while a common form of teaching in Higher Education institutions, is under-researched. Researchers have used metaphors to shed some light, yet these metaphors are rarely evaluated for how well they illuminate. Our contribution is to evaluate these pedagogical metaphors. We first explain our understanding of metaphor based on Lakoff and Johnson’s work, then, we describe the philosophical method we used to evaluate which metaphors are bright and illuminating for learning advising and which are dull and obscuring. In the second half of the article we present our philosophical evaluation. Our first conclusion is that the brightest metaphors for illuminating the practice of learning advisors were the doctor-mentor, builder-mentor, architect, coach and guide, and the dullest metaphors, so dull they should be rejected entirely, were the fixer and counsellor. Our second conclusion is a refined theory of learning advising that we developed on the basis of our evaluation of the metaphors: learning advisors have a developmental view of learning, and empower all students to be independent learners.


Keywords


Learning advisor, learning developer, philosophical research, metaphor, reflective practice

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References


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