The Autobiographical Metaphor: An Invaluable Approach to Teacher Development


  • Margaret E. Bérci City University of New York College of Staten Island



The study addresses the problem of how to make implicit teacher self-knowledge explicit, by introducing a unique perspective on the use of the autobiographical metaphor. Data sources representing the voices of students of "Advanced Studies in Teaching Secondary Social Studies," allow for an inside and an outside view of practicing teachers as they work, create, produce, and at the same time present autobiographical understandings of what it means to teach. The findings suggest that: a) learning to teach and learning to teach better, is a philosophical journey during which the educator travels through various "forms of educator," as the self strives to be understood; b) teaching needs to be taken up as identity rather than as role in context of practical problems that need to be solved; and c) there is a distinction between identities that are imposed and those that are constructed. The conclusions and the inferences drawn from the study have implications for those who are engaged in the processes of teaching about teaching.