Global Change Seminar "It's Your Move!"

Meeting Preparation
Segment #5 - The Impact of Metaphor

          Here are the suggested Meeting Preparation activities for Segment #5. You may want to print out this page, put it in the 3-ring binder for Seminar materials, and check off the activities after you've completed them.

  1. Reading Assignment. There is one reading assignments for this homework, in addition to the Seminar articles you previously read. This article illustrates how the way in which issues are framed drives public policy. Download the article from the Internet following the link below.
  2. Segment Exercise (i).  Find someone with whom to do the Female Image exercise. Sit down at the computer together (you have to be online together to do the exercise.) and read the exercise instructions aloud together before you start the exercise.
  3. Segment Exercise (ii).  In the Journal make a list of the families of metaphors that are commonly used. A couple of examples are given below. Add to this list as ideas occur to you. Try to come up with at least a dozen activities or fields of endeavor that are frequently used to furnish metaphors for explaining our thinking. We call these metaphor families.
    • Sports
    • Gardening
    • etc.
  4. Segment Exercise (iii).  Do one (or preferably both) of the following exercises to improve your ability to notice the use of metaphor in everyday life.
    • Take today 's Newspaper and scan the stories in the various sections while looking for the metaphors that were used to frame the stories. Highlight or circle the metaphors. On your list of metaphor families from the previous exercise, put a hash mark beside the family for each metaphor that you came across. Repeat this exercise on several days for a week. [Alternatively, watch the news on TV, or eavesdrop on young people talking, or listen to your colleagues at work.] Which metaphor family or families dominated?
    • Select a day during the coming week, and call it "Metaphor Observance Day." Use some kind of sign or signal, etc., that will help remind you of it during the day. Then throughout the day try to maintain an observer stance and as the day progresses make a note of the metaphors that you and other people use in conversation, and that you read. When you notice a metaphor, make a mental note and afterwards think about whether a different metaphor could have been used instead--and how that might have influenced the communication. At the end of the day, record the most striking of these metaphor situations in the Journal. Make an effort to record at least 6 situations. If you weren't able to record that many, then continue your metaphor observance into the next day until you've collected 6 noteworthy metaphor situations in the Journal. Which metaphor families were used? Could use of a different family have changed anything?
  5. Segment Exercise (iv).  This exercise is intended to help you notice how the ability to suspend judgment can alter a communication or situation.
    • Select a day during the coming week, and call it "Judgment Suspension Day." Use some kind of sign or signal, etc., that will help remind you of it during the day. Then throughout the day try to maintain an observer stance and as the day progresses try your best to suspend judgment when people (friends, family, colleagues, etc.) introduce a new idea to you or make a suggestion for you.
  6. Journal Work. Here are this Segment's suggested statements to respond to in the Seminar Journal:
    • The things that most intrigued me about the articles and exercises for this Segment are....
    • What particularly struck me in doing the Word Salad exercise was....
    • The metaphor families that seem to dominate news about politics or global issues are....
    • The most significant new insight I've gained in this Segment of the Seminar is...
    • My ability to suspend judgment is.....
  7. Review the Agenda for the next Seminar Group Meeting and print it out.

 

Next: Group Meeting Agenda - Segment #5


Start Over | Curriculum | FAQ | Contact | Exit Seminar
Page last modified on July 9, 2008