Adventure Guides, Outfitters, Firestarters, and Caregivers: Continuing Educators' Images of Identity

  • Tara Fenwick University of Alberta


In a recent study, 65 continuing education instructors each developed, then analyzed metaphors to describe their images of self in their respective contexts of practice. This article details the process developed by Deshler (1990) that was used to lead these educators into creating and critically reflecting on the meanings of their own metaphors, as well as the implications for their continuing reflection about practice. The relationship between metaphors and cognition is examined, and the process of metaphor-making discussed critically, with implications for its use by other educators. The metaphors generated by continuing educators through this process were grouped into four themes: adventure guides, outfitters, firestarters, and caregivers. These are analyzed here for insights about continuing educators' understandings of their teaching practice and the nature of the learning process.