Using a Visual Metaphor to Illustrate the BScE1 Internship

I’ve been thinking about using a set of visually rich illustrations to graphically represent a metaphor of the requirements we ask our BScE1 students to fulfill (BScE1 = 1 Semester of the Bachelor in Educational Sciences study program).

We actually want them to develop into “reflective practitioners” combining two different (maybe even seemingly incompatible) developmental missions a) becoming a teacher and b) becoming an educational researcher. Indeed, starting semester 1 we ask our students to do internships in schools, where they have to participate in classroom activities AND have to do educational research.

During semester 1 we instruct them (and try to empower them) to mainly use participant observation and expert interviews as research methods to document, analyze and reflect upon teaching and learning activities happening within the classrooms that they are visiting during one plus two weeks. We instruct them to do an artifact analysis based on these observations and interviews, i.e., to explore and discover concrete and symbolic objects that are commonly used in “their classrooms” by teachers and kids, how these objects are used, what they mean to the teachers, the kids, themselves, the kids’ parents, etc.

The idea behind this “mission” is that, by doing such a scientific research project, they will inquire, discover and understand how “teaching activities” are prepared, performed, documented, analyzed and reflected upon in the specific socio-cultural context of “their” classroom (i.e., the classroom they are visiting during 3 weeks).

We want them to collaboratively construct and contribute to a growing body of knowledge about “teaching methods” and “teaching tools” used in schools all over Luxembourg… and through these applied educational research efforts they are supposed to learn how to be educational researchers AND informed, knowledgeable and empowered future teacher students. So, YES, we also want them to participate in classroom activities so that they can develop their own body of practical knowledge and skills about these “teaching/schools objects” or “schooling/teaching tools”, like chalk boards, red pens, school books, “sleep corners”, playgrounds, learning software, computers, whiteboards, beamers, rules, rituals, reward systems, to mention only a few.

So, having set this general context about our learning and professional/academic development goals for the first semester internship, and without further ado, I would like to give you access to the visual material and the instructions that we used this morning during our introductory seminar “Analysing artefacts and activities within the school context” preparing our students for the internship that will start on monday…

Mission Pinguiiin: Learning to Swim (like a Pro)

1- Mission
2- Pictures
3- Solutions

(Please use right-click or CTRL-click and download linked file… to access the PDF files… my WordPress theme is a bit *ill* and does not properly show linked PDF files… sorry!)

Have fun trying to solve the mission yourselves…

Credits & Thanks to Emma de Lang for drawing the little and the big Pinguiiiin!
You may visit here student blog here: and maybe leave here a comment… 🙂

8 Feedbacks on “Using a Visual Metaphor to Illustrate the BScE1 Internship”

  1. Don’t ask me why we called this Mission Pinguiiiin… That’s the name one of my classes gave itself, for reasons I completely ignore 🙂

  2. I simply found that these cute little birds would perfectly fit into the “learning to swim” scenario… and since the girls were talking about them all the time, during classes, during pauses, on their blogs and on Facebook, I thought this would bring the metaphor even closer to their imaginary world, or their zone of proximal development…

  3. Thank you very much for sharing your seminar preparation and the thoughts that prompted you to tackle your researching seminar using the penguin metaphor.

    What did the students think about this approach?

  4. Kristina, concerning the course preparation, I really enjoyed blogging about it, and I hope that my students will learn from me (kind of role model learning approach here), and really write down their preparations and their reflections on their own “teaching activities” when they will be in their internship classes next week… we’ll see… I really have to admit that it’s been fun writing the blog post and I think it will help me transform my own teaching practices, just as I’ve always told my students that blgging would change their ways of thinking and learning

  5. Kristina, I think they liked it… but I’ve got no real empirical data to underscore that feeling… maybe I should’ve set up a poll after the class 🙂 but time was running out, as always… I felt I was quite fun and instructive at the same time… 🙂 Ingo has drawn some amazing pictures during the presentation… 😉

  6. Thanks Bob. I hope to see Ingo’s drawings. They are always amazing and depict en event very cleverly and clearly. It’s great that you also blog more than before to be a role model for your students and thus also encourage them in taking up this practice.

  7. @Kristina: I did not even think about trying to be a good role model, I just simply felt the urge to write about this teaching/learning setting and to publish it to the world… I think I’m starting to become a real EduBlogger… 🙂

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