Research Projects
Metaphors for Education. A pragmatic-argumentative model of metaphors in patient-provider interactions

The purpose of this project is to develop an approach to metaphors as educative devices, within the framework of a pragmatic-argumentative model of communication. The project plans to collect metaphors in the context of diabetes care and produce empirical evidence on their educational potential.

Theoretical objectives:

• Th.1) To contribute to the theoretical debate on the relationship between metaphor and argumentation (WP1); Th.2) To assess the quality of metaphors by analyzing the presuppositions involved in metaphors, looking at the way in which they contribute to the construction of the emergent common ground (WP1).

Epistemological objectives:

• Ep.1) To classify the different types of misunderstandings due to the interpretation of metaphors in real contexts. Based on this classification, to identify which metaphors are more apt to be considered as teaching devices in different dialogical contexts (WP2);

•Ep.2) Following from Ep.1, to contribute to the debate on health communication by providing for the first time a classification of metaphors for patient education in chronic care (WP2).

Social objectives:

• S.1) To offer an evidence-based communicative instrument for providers working in chronic care. This result is expected to have a direct impact on the improvement of providers’ competence in verbal communication (WP3); S.2) To recommend metaphors as useful instruments for patient education (WP3).