Metaphors are widely discussed within educational research and this paper adds to the body of knowledge in relation to students using these as a tool to support meta-learning. Metaphors free up space for creative thinking by moving the mind from one place to another and have been found to be an effective cognitive device for learning. This project focuses on what students are like when they are “learning at their best” and discusses what knowing this information does for both individual self-awareness and working with others. Six final year students spent half a day exploring, developing and pictorially representing their “learning at best” metaphors. All six metaphors were different and showed the internal representations of the individuals when they were learning at their best. However out of the discourse common themes arose from the group in relation to what was needed to support learning these included time of day, mood, pace and environment. All six students were positive that the development of personal learning metaphors was beneficial and thought that it was important that these were developed systematically over time. The benefits were highlighted to be both for the individual working on their own and for understanding others in group work situations.
Cite this paper
Nixon, S. (2013). Using Metaphors to Aid Student Meta-Learning: When You’re Learning at Your Best Your Like What?. Creative Education, 4,
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