An allegorical map of teaching | A reflection activity

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In the 18th and 19th centuries, allegorical maps of love, courtship and marriage were very popular. Here’s a map of matrimony.

22920-George-Skaife-Beeching-Map-of-Matrimony-c1880.jpg

You’ll find some more examples here. In this reflection activity, participants create their own allegorical map of teaching.

Objective

  • To encourage teachers to reflect on how they see teaching as a practice and a profession.

Materials

  • An example of a historical allegorical map (they’re all in the public domain) or perhaps one that you’ve drawn.

Procedure

  • Show an example of an allegorical map such as the one above.
  • Ask participants to draw and label their own allegorical maps of teaching.
  • Encourage participants to share their maps with each other and compare similarities and difference.
  • Get them to reflect on why their maps look the way they do and if they would want their maps to look different.

Extended reflection 

  • Ask participants to take pictures of their maps and revisit them after 3 months or 6 months. Are there any new islands or terrain they’d like to add to their maps? What do these represent? How did these changes come about?

NB: This activity hasn’t been road tested yet. I did create my own allegorical map – I’m not sure I’m ready to share it yet. It’s turned out a bit dark – something for me to reflect on?!

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2 thoughts on “An allegorical map of teaching | A reflection activity

  1. Hi Adi, thank you for the great post! I love the idea of this activity and can see how creating such kind of map may get too personal (and wonder about trust and safety between colleagues to share the maps). One more question I would add to the post-drawing discussion (and possibly, to the Extended Reflection conversation) is ‘What did you learn from the experience? What did you learn about yourself as a teacher, as a human?’
    When I read your suggestion to re-visit the map in 3-6 months and read Kate’s comment about teacher training week at her school, I thought this could be a great way to help teachers set their professional development goals for an academic year. And/or find peers with similar beliefs and interests (Curiosity Islands?)
    I’d like to try out this activity with teachers at a presentation I am now planning called ‘Reflective Activities: You and Your Students’. May I do that and reference you and your blog?
    As always, great to be in touch.
    Zhenya

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