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Movements of Mind: The Matrix, Metaphors, and Re-imagining Education


by Alison Cook-Sather — 2003

Using the popular movie The Matrix to evoke both metaphors for human existence and models for teaching and learning, this article revisits arguments made by educators, philosophers, linguists, and anthropologists that metaphors govern our ways of perceiving, naming, and acting in the world, whether we are aware of this phenomenon or not. Building on this premise and through an examination of two metaphors that have dominated notions of and approaches to education in the United States, the article invites readers to make conscious the metaphors that inform our thoughts and actions, discern the "realities" we construct for ourselves and for others, and imagine the possibility of changing those. The argument made is for seeking, crafting, and embracing metaphors that cast students not only as active participants in their own education but as the principle creators of their education and themselves.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 6, 2003, p. 946-977
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11545, Date Accessed: 12/16/2017 8:14:57 AM

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About the Author
  • Alison Cook-Sather
    Bryn Mawr College
    E-mail Author
    ALISON COOK-SATHER is an assistant professor of education at Bryn Mawr College and director of the Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program. Her research interests include integrating the perspectives of high school students into preservice teacher education, rethinking education through the metaphor of translation, and facilitating professional development for educators differently positioned in higher education. Recent publications include ‘‘Education as Translation: Students Transforming Notions of Narrative and Self ’’ (College Composition and Communication, forthcoming) and ‘‘Authorizing Students’ Perspectives: Toward Trust, Dialogue, and Change in Education’’ (Educational Researcher, Vol. 31, No. 4, 3–14, May, 2002).
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