This paper proposes analogical mapping as a strategy for data analysis. Research is often messy. Where it explores the unknown and follows unexpected paths it often generates unanticipated findings. Presented with extensive data and the initial analysis describing 'themes' the researcher asks, "What does it all mean?" Thus we are challenged to make sense of the world we see, to theorise and not merely describe. This report outlines a method of analysis using metaphor as a thinking tool to interpret findings from a study in education. In the study reported here, metaphor provided a means of analysis to delve deeply into the nature of a school system, to offer insights and to generate a tentative theory


Analogy, Metaphor, Qualitative Analysis, and Educational Change


The author thanks Mark Cosgrove and Lyn Schaverien for their advice on the method considered in this paper.

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