Author Faculty (Discipline)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Publication Details

This conference proceeding was originally published as:

Northcote, M. T., & Fetherston, T. (2006). New metaphors for teaching and learning in a university context. Paper presented at the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia) Conference, Perth, Australia. Retrieved from


130103 Higher Education| 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators


University teachers and university students often explain their beliefs about teaching and learning by using metaphors and, in a research sense, these metaphors have often been interpreted as indicators of individuals’ educational beliefs. Critical reflection of these metaphors, provides insight into beliefs behind the practices of university teachers and students. This recent University study has uncovered some different metaphors from those commonly reported, which has provided the impetus for this paper. This paper aims to augment and extend existing research about the use of metaphor with investigative insights into individuals’ beliefs and conceptions of teaching and learning. Two groups of stakeholders, university teachers and students, were interviewed and surveyed about their educational beliefs. After their responses were open coded, a set of themes and categories were established. The findings reported in this paper are based on those themes and focus on the metaphors used by participants to describe their beliefs about teaching and learning.


Used by permission: HERDSA and the authors

At the time of writing Maria Northcote was affiliated with Edith Cowan University.