Metaphors are devices that people employ for both poetic purposes and rhetorical elaboration and belong to the realm of extraordinary language. Metaphors are used to connect abstract ideas and information to more concrete experiences, thus making these experiences more familiar and easier to understand. Moreover, metaphors are more than symbolic intellectual processes; they influence the conceptual understanding of our experiences and help define our everyday realities. For education, there is an important and relevant practical connection between the metaphors that teachers employ and their beliefs about teaching and classroom practices. This stems from the notion that metaphors guide one’s mental framework. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the metaphors influencing teachers in gifted education, this study specifically asked teachers to describe both their metaphors concerning gifted students as well as those influencing their teaching. In this study, nine different themes were identified. This research demonstrates a clear connection between reported metaphors and how gifted students receive their education from teachers. Participants’ answers demonstrate a strong connection between their metaphors and their classroom practices. However, strict adherence to one’s root metaphor increases the chance for dogmatism in the classroom and can lead to potentially incoherent classroom differentiation and a potential disconnect between classroom practices and the actual pedagogical needs of the gifted learner.

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Keywords classroom practices, differentiation, gifted education, metaphors, pedagogical needs, teacher practices
Persistent URL
Journal Roeper Review
Godor, B.P. (2019). Gifted Metaphors: Exploring the Metaphors of Teachers in Gifted Education and Their Impact on Teachi. Roeper Review, 41:1, 51–60. Retrieved from