Educators should light fires, not drip-feed knowledge

As Socrates has shown, choosing an apt metaphor can shape how we see the profession, writes this philosophy teacher

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Metaphorical thinking, in the words of psychiatrist and philosopher Iain McGilchrist, “is the only way in which understanding can reach outside the system of signs to life itself. It is what links language to life.”

The word metaphor implies something that carries you over a gap (“meta” meaning “after/beyond” and “phore” meaning “bearer of” ), and is foundational in our understanding of the world. Metaphors matter because they tell us how we understand something, while also determining the way that we attend to it.

The metaphors we use are, of course, a product of our understanding. We see a ...

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