TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF "TEACHING IN THE MAKING:" EXPLAINING INSTRUCTIONAL DECISION MAKING BY ANALYZING A GEOLOGY INSTRUCTOR'S USE OF METAPHORS
Eric (pseudonym), a geology professor, implemented a curricular intervention in two successive introductory geology classes. However, Eric selected and amended only particular facets of the intervention. The research utilizes classroom observations and multiple audio recorded meetings with Eric to understand why he chose and amended certain parts of the intervention and not others. Results show that Eric described his teaching in terms of two metaphors: the puzzle metaphor and the fieldtrip metaphor. The metaphors paralleled each other in terms how Eric saw his role, his students’ role and the role and the nature of knowledge, and therefore influenced what and how he taught. This study suggests that curriculum designers need to look past “ready-made teaching” and take instructor context into consideration to iteratively design curricular interventions (or teaching in the making) and analyzing for the use of metaphor may be an effective way to discern that context.