Metaphors as global markers for teachers' beliefs about the nature of science

Catherine Milne, Peter Charles Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we report an analysis of metaphors used by three science teachers in their classroom discourse and consider the implications of this research for the image of science that students are likely to construct. Teacher beliefs about the nature of science are implicit and entrenched and may be contrary to both contemporary philosophies of science and constructivist theory. We argue that the presence of metaphors such a teaching as a journey, knowledge as object and teacher as pathfinder in teachers' classroom discourse signify the implicit existence of a powerful objectivist epistemology that governs teachers' pedagogies. If students are to construct contemporary views of the nature of science and if constuctivist pedagogy is to develop in the science classroom then science teachers need to reflect on their use of these role-determining objectivist metaphors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Science Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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