A practical validation model for researching elicited metaphor

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In researching metaphor in (or for) education, advances in our understanding of metaphor, and particularly of how best to research it, have sometimes taken a back seat. However, research methods are important, as they underpin the ability to draw valid or trustworthy educational inferences. The aim of this chapter is to present a practical seven-step model of validation, which stresses five points: 1. Eliciting an explicit metaphor is not a method-free, unproblematic process.2. A metaphor identification procedure is still needed, even if you ask for an “A is B” structure.3. Higher-level metaphor/grouping labels need justifying.4. Matching metaphors to educational theories is not unproblematic.5. The fact that you say (metaphoric) “xxx”, does not necessarily mean that you believe or practise what the metaphor implies. Any such attribution needs justifying.


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