Using metaphoric body-mapping to encourage reflection on the developing identity of pre-service teachers
This article explores the contribution that a teaching strategy, such as metaphoric body-mapping, can make towards the discourse on the development of professional teacher identity. Second-year students in a Life Orientation methodology module in a B.Ed programme were offered the opportunity to validate their local knowledge and make new meaning together, through bringing their lived experiences into the classroom. In a contact session, groups were tasked with using body-mapping to conceptualise metaphoric superhero and villain characters of both effective and ineffective teachers. In a subsequent discourse, the characteristics of these metaphoric characters were explored to set the stage for inter- and intrapersonal reflection on students’ own social construction of their developing professional identities. This student experience clearly indicates that metaphors can be a rich and stimulating way for prospective teachers to talk about their perceptions, experiences and expectations of teaching, and the method accentuates the importance of tertiary institutions that contribute to the emerging conversation about the development of professional identity in pre-service teachers. This article pioneers the use of body-mapping as a group-based technique, where a group of people works together on the same body-map, rather than the traditional individual approach to this method.
Keywords: body-mapping; Life Orientation; metaphor; pre-service teacher; professional identity; reflection