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Space, relationships and performativity: Using metaphor to reflect on teaching

Ursula Edgington

Lesson observations are used in educational environments worldwide to support professional development and to measure content and quality of curriculum delivery. Within a neoliberal context, lesson observations can arguably be seen as symbolic of the embodied tensions between educational policies that emphasise accountability and the creative, hidden nature of teaching and learning. Importantly, the inherent pressures and power relationships within formally graded lesson observations can inhibit reflexivity. Drawing on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, this article explores how, in the United Kingdom, tertiary teachers, including further education teachers and teacher educators, use metaphor to articulate personal meanings of space and performativity in lesson observations. The universal use and nature of metaphor provides opportunities for diverse educational sectors and cultures to share reflections on teaching, enhancing the curriculum for teachers and students.

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