The Formative Power of Educational Metaphors

David Diener examines three particularly influential educational metaphors: Plato’s cave, the industrial factory, and a guided journey.

Metaphors are powerful tools that profoundly affect how we think and live. Throughout history, numerous metaphors have been used to describe the nature of education, and these have had a formative impact on educational theory and practice. In this seminar we
will examine three particularly influential educational metaphors: Plato’s cave, the industrial factory, and a guided journey. We will discuss the significant educational implications of each of these metaphors and consider how they both describe and prescribe our understanding of education. We will conclude by briefly exploring a number of other educational metaphors and considering some of the practical ways in which our own educational practices are guided and limited by them.

David Diener

Dr. David Diener began his formal post-secondary education at Wheaton College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Ancient Languages. A er pu ing his philosophical training to work by building custom cabinets and doing high-end nish carpentry for an Amish company, he moved with his wife to Bogotá, Colombia, where they served as missionaries for three years at a Christian international school. He then a ended graduate school at Indiana University, where he earned an MA in Philosophy, an MS in History and Philosophy of Education, and a dual PhD in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education. He has taught at The Stony Brook School on Long Island, served as Head of Upper Schools at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, and currently is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, TX. He also teaches philosophy courses for Taylor University as an Adjunct Professor. The Dieners have four wonderful children and are passionate about classical Christian education and the impact it can have on the church, our society, and the world.

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