Methodological approaches and strategies for elicited metaphor-based research

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The purpose of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive review of the methodological approaches and strategies used in elicited metaphor research. Thirty six selected articles were first grouped by their purpose of using elicited metaphors: (a) use of metaphors as a methodological tool to understand teacher beliefs, knowledge and practice and (b) use of metaphors as an intervention tool to improve teachers’ professional knowledge or practice. Then, individual studies within each purpose group were analyzed in depth in terms of metaphor elicitation methods and analysis methods. Based on the analysis, we discuss methodological issues associated with metaphor research. Suggestions for resolving these issues are also discussed, focusing on the validity of metaphor elicitation, analysis techniques, and the trustworthiness of metaphor research. We suggest that researchers pay more attention to the use of multiple elicitation methods, clarity of data analysis procedures, and application of various strategies to establish the trustworthiness. We also call for a broader research effort to use metaphors as an intervention tool, beyond simply a methodological tool to improve teachers’ professional knowledge or teaching practice.


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