Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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Metaphor plays a critical role in how people communicate and conceptualize complex activities like teaching. For example, a professor might be described as (), or (). Prior research has largely focused on what metaphors like these communicate about the role of teachers, but many teaching metaphors simultaneously describe the role of students (e.g., ). We aimed to extend previous work with a recently developed method for mapping the structure of metaphorical concepts to examine the metaphorical entailments associated with students, rather than teachers. We presented participants recruited online with one of four common metaphors for the teacher-student relationship and found that different metaphors consistently bring to mind distinct, coherent clusters of student attributes and different intuitions about teacher and student responsibility and power – a finding we replicated with a larger sample and pre-registered analysis. Together with previous findings, this research suggests that teaching metaphors can efficiently capture and communicate structured beliefs about both teacher and student attributes.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): concepts; lay theories; metaphors; students; teaching
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