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Allison Hardin

EDU 542
Summer 2019

Metaphoric Model Assignment

Baseball Game

School: Baseball field

A baseball field is symbolic to a school because it holds all of the components a student

needs for a successful school year: teachers (coaches), principals (managers), four model

families/lessons (bases), classmates (teammates), and parents (bleachers). This is the academic

environment where learning occurs as a result of the design and equipment the baseball field is

composed of. Each component on the field is intended for a specific purpose but all have the

same goal: to win. When a team wins, a student has successfully achieved an academic goal.

Academic goals may vary from student to student just as each team member strives to improve

their position by consistent practice and perseverance.

Teachers: Coaches

Baseball coaches are the mentors that hold the team together. They are the teachers in the

classroom that make the game possible. The description of a baseball coach includes, organizing

the baseball program (curriculum), conducting practices (guided/independent practice),

motivating the players, and instructing the learners in game strategies and techniques (learning

strategies). Teachers and coaches assist students in developing their full potential by analyzing

their performance and providing encouragement. Whether the performance is guiding the proper

batting stance: 1. Feet wider than shoulder-width 2. Bend at the waist 3. Bend at the knees

4. Hands near the back shoulder 5. Eyes on the pitcher; or scaffolding a lesson to a struggling

student by breaking down instructions into smaller, manageable tasks: 1. Name the shape 2. Hold

up shape card 3. Have student repeat shape 4. Have student point to shape 5. Ask student to trace

shape with finger. It is the teacher’s (coach’s) responsibility to guide the student (player) until

they have mastered the task. Not only should it be their responsibility, but their passion. Coaches

and teachers are the constant reminder to “never let the fear of striking out keep you from

playing the game (Babe Ruth)”.

Principals: Managers

Principals and baseball managers are in charge of overseeing and making final decisions.

Managers: on-field team strategy, lineup selection, training, and instruction. Principals: lead

teachers and staff, setting goals to ensure students meet their learning objectives, and direct the

school’s daily operations. Coaches and teachers rely on these essential leading figures to provide

a strategic direction in the field (school) for success. It is important that every baseball field and

school has a manager or strong leader with complete authority over the running and functioning

of a team.

Parents: Bleachers

The bleachers provide a place for parents, family, and friends to cheer on the players as

they utilize strategies they have put a significant amount of hard work and practice into. Every

student deserves to have a parent or caregiver to root for them from their own bleachers just as

these baseball parents do. Students (players) need the support and encouragement from family to

help them succeed and conquer academic challenges. Positive parent involvement during a

baseball game includes supporting the coach’s decisions, watching your child succeed, accepting

failure, and encouraging them to get back up and stay in the game. In comparison, family

engagement in schools can enhance student achievement, limit absences, and provide confidence

in their child’s education. As a result, the student can reach higher test scores, effective social

skills, and increased confidence.

Four Model Families: Bases

Each base represents a theory of one of the four model families. Every base provides

strategies on how to get to the next base (level of learning). First base is the Information

Processing Theory. Students that make it to this base have reached the ability to receive input,

process it, and store the information in long term memory for future delivery. While the player

(student) is anxiously awaiting their next move, this transferring process is being organized in

the brain helping the player to decide when to retrieve the necessary information to proceed.

Students need this information organized and stored in their long-term memory to recall prior

knowledge for future lessons.

Second base is the Behavioral Theory: the learning base. Behaviors in the classroom are

learned through conditioning just as baseball players learn through practices numerous times

each week. When students (players) interact with their environment, they are responding to

stimuli that shape their actions. When students demonstrate a desired behavior, the teacher

delivers positive reinforcement or rewards that eventually lead the student to produce this

behavior automatically. The same idea pertains to baseball. Players that practice the strategies

their coach is teaching them results in the desired play (catch a fly ball, hit a grand slam, tag

another player out, etc.).

Third base is the Constructivist Theory: Students and players establish acquired skills

from experience. Students that experience constructivist teaching in the classroom are actively

learning through hands on activities such as using magnetic letters, shaving cream or clay to

form letters. This meaningful process is compared to a baseball player learning how to pitch the

ball by having the coach model and physically guide them through the steps. A pitcher cannot

learn how to pitch a ball by verbal instruction alone. They must physically engage in the process

for learning to occur.

Home plate is the fourth model family: Social learning. When students have the

opportunity to observe and imitate teacher or peer modeling, they are engaging in the learning

process. Teacher modeling may include completing an independent activity or it may include

how to use proper manners. Peer modeling can be demonstrated through peer coaching or group

work. Baseball players must have learning opportunities from their teammates. Building off one

another is essential to improve mentally, physically, and emotionally. Warming up by playing

catch with another teammate allows the players to observe and imitate the other throw while

learning with each one.

Each baseball season (school year) the players (students) on the team will experience

failure at some point. Striking out is not only part of the game but it allows room to make

mistakes and learn from them creating a growth mindset. As Babe Ruth said, “Every strike

brings me closer to the next home run”. Players and students will also experience some of the

greatest joys in life. The home run is that “ah-ha” moment when a student “gets it”. They learn to

persevere by never giving up and watching miracles happen. Students and players must play

their own game with their own position. These positions require working hard at those particular

skills needed to succeed. The challenging part is deciding which position we want to play.