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Increased interest in teacher cognition has led to new ways of explorating teachers' thoughts and beliefs. The study described here combines elements of two previous studies to make comparisons among similes and simile categories and approaches to classroom teaching. The purpose of the study was to determine the relation between support for classroom teaching approaches and support for similes for teacher, student, and classroom. Education majors (N=200) ranked a list of similes, indicating how often each simile was thought to be true, and completed an instrument rating approaches to teaching. The second sample (N=450) consisted of elementary education students only, who ranked a simile list containing only similes for the teacher. Results suggest that general relationships exist between beliefs about the nature of teaching, expressed through metaphors, and other aspects of teaching such as support for specific teaching approaches, positive self-concept, and teacher efficacy. Results suggest that if metaphors can be identified related to the goals of teacher education programs, efforts can be made to reframe education students' notion of teaching. If education students' beliefs about teaching can be shaped to reflect advocacy and change instead of authority, they may be more likely to adopt teaching approaches that facilitate learning and problem solving. (LL)

Descriptors: Attitude Change, Cognitive Structures, Education Majors, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Research Needs, Self Efficacy, Self Esteem, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Education Programs, Teaching Methods, Teaching (Occupation)

Autor: Marchant, Gregory J.; Schroeder, Thomas S.


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