• Reframing the cultivation metaphor in education by reflecting on CLIL professional development through forest gardening

    SLS Working Papers (view group) , Rebekah Gordon
    Brittany Finch, Robert Randez, Aysen Tuzcu
    SLS Working Papers
    Second language acquisition, Applied linguistics, Metaphor
    Item Type:
    Online publication
    teacher professional development, clil, ecological systems
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    Cultivation metaphors that compare teachers and students to gardeners and plants, respectively, have a long presence in the field of education. While such metaphors can be used to represent learner-centered pedagogies in which a teacher fosters the growth of their students, there is a darker side to cultivation metaphors. For instance, Zipory (2020) argues that characteristics of agriculture’s grain economy–like repetitiveness, coercion, and lack of diversity–can be imposed onto education. Following Zipory’s call for the forest to serve as a more apt metaphorical trajectory for education, I propose using the forest garden as a middle ground between the traditional garden and the natural forest. To highlight the potential usefulness of the forest garden metaphor for higher education, I explore its application as related to teacher professional development (PD), specifically content and language integrated learning (CLIL) PD. By reflecting on the design and outcomes of Project SCILLA, a CLIL PD program for Kazakhstani university instructors, as well as CLIL PD more broadly, I demonstrate how the forest garden metaphor can complicate the relationships and power dynamics between and across various stakeholders in higher education in response to global rhetoric, national and local policies, and interpersonal interactions. By emulating the forest garden’s principles of sustainability, interconnectedness, creativity, plurality, security, and well-being, stakeholders can (re)shape how we view multilingual, multicultural, and cross-national education systems and partnerships.
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    Online publication    
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago


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