Does the current rhetoric of educational reform, as represented by Barack Obama’s Race to the Top speech, represent an alignment with or a departure from the rhetoric of previous administrations?
What does metaphor criticism and pentadic analysis reveal about the motivation of current educational reform?
How do the interactions of metaphor criticism and pentadic analysis augment and problematize each of these methods of rhetorical analysis?
- At least four sources related to modern/contemporary rhetorical theory: 1). Anzaldúa; 2). Brown; 3). Burke (“Permanence”); 4). Burke (“Tropes”); 5). Douglass; 6). Osborn; 7). Schön
- At least three sources related to the topic: 1).Clark; 2). Kuehl; 3). Staton
- At least seven of these published in the last fifteen years: 1). Batten; 2). Clark; 3). Douglass; 4). Elliott; 5). Kuehl; 6). Ritchie; 7). Staton
Note: The three annotations marked with ** were written for my revised seminar paper.
**Anzaldúa, Gloria E. “Metaphors in the Tradition of the Shaman” Eds. Gloria E. Anzaldúa and Ana Louise Keating. The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader. Durham: Duke UP, 2009. 121-23. Print.
The role of the shaman (a word closely related in derivation to poet), Anzaldúa says, is to “preserve and create cultural or group identity by mediating between the cultural heritage of the past and the present everyday situations people find themselves in.” As a poet/shaman, she sees what ails people and societies in terms of metaphor, and the cure to these ailments involves “extracting the old dead metaphors,” a process that can change people’s belief systems. People and societies need to realize that they can control the metaphors they employ, although resistance to change, she finds, is powerful. But until old metaphors are replaced with new, the lies and sickness will remain. As a shaman/poet, Anzaldúa uses metaphors to create images that are conducive to healing and that restore agency. This essay started my thinking of the relation between metaphors and social change. [139 words]
Batten, Alicia J. “Metaphors We Teach By: The Language of ‘Learning Outcomes.’” Teaching Theology and Religion 15.1 (2012): 16-28. Wiley Online. Web. 17 May 2014.
Drawing on the theories of Lakoff and Johnson that explore how metaphors create reality, Batten examines the metaphors surrounding the term “learning outcomes” as used within higher education in order to demonstrate that learning outcomes are consistent with the current conception of higher education as “academic capitalism.” She explores the ways this metaphor “conceals and eclipses other dimensions of the complex phenomena of teaching and learning” and argues for a need to seek new metaphors that will better capture the essence of education. Batten, who teaches within the Religious Studies department, is upfront about her personal experiences with and biases against the use of learning outcomes. This study, within a similar field as my planned research (educational reform/standards/Common Core), provides me with a model of a scholar examining the rhetoric of metaphors, assessing the deflections the metaphor achieves, and critiquing the current rhetoric. 
Brown, Stuart C. “I. A. Richards’ New Rhetoric: Multiplicity, Instrument, and Metaphor.” Rhetoric Review 10.2 (1992): 218-31. JSTOR. Web. 24 May 2014.
Brown seeks to establish Richards’ reputation as the foundational theorist of the New Rhetoric, claiming that he “established the basic argument for developing a truly new rhetoric [and] identified the major critical components needed to formulate a rhetoric for the twenty-first century.” These foundational components—multiplicity of meaning, language as instrument, and metaphor as underlying construct—were built upon by the rhetoricians who followed Richards. While Brown directs scholars’ attention to Richards’ work, he makes little critical headway to a revised or deepened understanding of Richards’ project and fails to make connections to later rhetoricians. While I did glean some new insights into Richards’ conception of metaphor, this article serves primarily as a summary of Richards’ thought. 
Burke, Kenneth. “Four Master Tropes.” The Kenyon Review 3.4 (1941): 421-38. JSTOR. Web. 24 May 2014.
Burke considers the four master tropes—metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony—to be not merely figures of speech but means of “discovery and description of ‘the truth.’” Metaphor is the trope of perspective, meaning that it shows, in dramatistic terms, a character from the point of view of another character. Considering a character from multiple perspectives moves one closer to honing in on its (dare I say) essence, or as Burke surprisingly says, “establish[ing] a character’s reality.” The rest of the article dealing with the three other tropes seems less useful for my project, although Burke does point out that the four tropes are intertwined. I found this article to be surprisingly accessible yet (and perhaps for that reason) lacking in many new insights. I’ve requested Permanence and Change, in which I understand Burke goes into more depth regarding his understanding of metaphor, and which may be of more use. 
**Burke, Kenneth. “Part II: Perspective by Incongruity.” Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Bobbs, 1954. Print.
The concepts of piety—“what goes with what”—and impiety—any alteration that disrupts these established associations—form the foundation of Burke’s investigation into how perspectives are changed. Impiety is an attempt to convert a person’s thinking. Metaphor, an “unsuspected connection,” can be seen as a type of impiety and a way to change perspective “by putting the wrong words together,” by making new alignments and new senses of what goes with what. Burke proposes that “planned incongruity” should be purposefully employed so that we can clearly see what has traditionally been linked but which has no rational justification. He interprets psychoanalysis as a means of secular conversion by which the patient is offered “a fresh terminology of motives.” This understanding of metaphor and its means of effecting change to entrenched viewpoints provides me with a rhetorical rationale for my research question regarding the relationship of metaphor to change. [149 words]
Clark, Kevin M. and Donald J. Cunningham. “Metaphors We Teach By: An Embodied Cognitive Analysis of No Child Left Behind” Semiotica 2006.161 (2006): 265-89. EBSCO. Web. 18 May 2014.
After authors Clark and Cunningham provide an extensive summary of Lakoff and Johnson’s theory of embodied cognition, they use that theoretical framework to identify the dominant metaphors of No Child Left Behind as “Educational Is a Journey,” “Learning Is Acquisition,” and “Learning Is Building.” They critique those metaphors and put forth a call to bring alternative metaphors forward for discussion and debate. As university educators, Clark and Cunningham are straight-forward regarding their concerns about the outcomes of NCLB; their goal is to call attention to their apprehensions about the direction of educational reform. This article is much in the lines of Staton (2000) and Kuehl (2012) in analyzing presidential rhetoric from the realm of education reform. I plan to use this article to compare the dominant metaphors of NCLB with those of Race to the Top and the Common Core. 
Douglass, David. “Issues in the Use of I. A. Richards’ Tenor-Vehicle Model of Metaphor.” Western Journal of Communication 64.4 (2000): 405-24. EBSCO. Web. 19 May 2014.
According to Douglass, Richards’ tenor/vehicle model of metaphor has been subject to little critical scrutiny, and the meanings of the key words have slipped from their original moorings. (The author acknowledges the irony of trying to pin down one single meaning to Richards’ concepts and claims rather to be trying to make explicit the range of meanings that have been employed.) Douglass points out that Richard’s model suffers from inconsistency, vagueness, and ambiguity and also identifies subsequent theorists’ misappropriation of the concepts, adding to his claim that the model has been significantly simplified, which has led to researchers’ performing “a vivisection of language according to the tutelage of the model.” Douglass suggests questions and strategies to consider when conducting an analysis of metaphors, which I think will be of use in my own research. Overall I envision this article providing me not only with background but with a critical perspective. 
Elliott, Kimberly C. “A Pentadic Analysis of the CRACK Web Site.” Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice. 3rd ed. Sonja K. Foss. Long Grove [IL]: Waveland, 2004. Print.
Elliott employs Burke’s pentad to analyze a web site that promotes the mission of an organization that pays drug-addicted women to use permanent or long-term birth control. She demonstrates that the web site offers several competing pentads in order to appeal to different audiences and offers commentary as to how these audiences absorb the contradictory messages. The value of this source is primarily methodological—while the subject of Elliott’s analysis differs from mine, her methodology is what I had planned to utilize for my analysis of the Common Core web site. Elliott’s analysis is of help in my project as a potential model of how to conduct a pentadic analysis of a web site and of how to effectively structure the resulting article. [123 words]
Kuehl, Rebecca A. “The Rhetorical Presidency and ‘Accountability’ in Education Reform: Comparing the Presidential Rhetoric of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.” Southern Communication Journal 77.4 (2012): 329-48. EBSCO. Web. 24 May 2014.
Kuehl examines the rhetoric of Reagan’s and Bush’s educational policies through the frame of “accountability.” In addition, she observes that this frame is not exclusive to Republican presidents, demonstrating that Carter and Obama have also employed accountability as a frame for educational reform. This source is similar to Staton (2000) in providing an analysis of presidential rhetoric regarding educational reform. It seeks to establish that substantial educational reform cannot be effected without a change of rhetorical frame; the frame that Kuehl advances is one that acknowledges collective responsibility for the problems of education. This article can help me establish the historical foundation for my analysis of the rhetoric of current educational reform. 
Osborn, Michael. “Archetypal Metaphor in Rhetoric: The Light-Dark Family” (1967). Readings in Rhetorical Criticism. 3rd ed. Ed. Carl R. Burgchardt. State College: Strata, 2005. 306-17. Print.
Archetypal metaphors are those common, prominent, and timeless comparisons that are grounded in human experience and rooted in human motivation, and thus uniquely persuasive. Osborn explores the cluster of metaphors that form around the light-dark spectrum (such as the sun, heat and cold, and the seasons), charting the effects, implications, and attitudes that these metaphors communicate. Although the metaphor family analyzed in this article is different than I will be studying, this source provides a model for examining the rhetorical power of metaphors as well as questions to ask regarding association, organization, ethical proof, logical proof, and motive. This final component, motive, is of particular interest because I plan to investigate whether the motive as revealed through pentadic analysis corresponds with the message of the metaphors employed in the texts I examine. 
Ritchie, David. “Monastery or Economic Enterprise: Opposing or Complementary Metaphors of Higher Education?” Metaphor & Symbol 17.1 (2002): 45-55. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 May 2014.
Richie considers whether opposing metaphors set up an irreconcilable frame conflict and shows how exploring the entailments of conflicting metaphors clarifies the points of contention in higher education reform. He suggests that competing metaphors can be accommodated not by finding a higher order umbrella metaphor that can cover them all but by accepting that both metaphors, or neither, may to a certain extent capture the multiplicity of meanings inherent in a concept. He demonstrates how one can take seriously the claims of competing metaphors when formulating educational policy even when the opposing frames cannot be integrated. This article provides me with a process for examining the rhetorical meaning of metaphors. 
**Schön, Donald. “Generative Metaphor: A Perspective on Problem-setting in Social Policy.” Metaphor and Thought. 2nd ed. Ed. Andrew Ortony. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993. 137-63. Print.
The generative metaphor, according to Schön, is one “by which new perspectives on the world come into existence.” Schön demonstrates how, through a process of “storytelling” (describing what is wrong and needs fixing), generative metaphors are developed. The metaphors underlying these stories generate problem setting (defining the problem) and often determine the direction of problem solving. The metaphor can act as a “spell” that causes the solution to seem obvious, even though there are multiple ways to solve a problem. Social policy has long been seen as a problem-solving enterprise, but Schön proposes that social policy be seen as problem-setting instead. Social policy has “more to do with ways in which we frame the purposes to be achieved than with the selection of optimal means for achieving them.” I would plan to use the process of that Schön proposes for metaphor restructuring to analyze the current controversy over educational reform. [150 words]
Staton, A, and J. Peeples. “Educational Reform Discourse: President George Bush on ‘America 2000.’” Communication Education, 49.4 (2000): 303-19. EBSCO. Web. 22 May 2014.
This article analyzes Bush’s use of metaphor in his “America 2000” statement of educational policy reform. The authors make claims about the critical importance of public speech for the adoption of policy and of metaphor for the shaping of educational policy. They conclude that Bush did not present a coherent vision and that the resultant ambiguity contributed to a failure of the policy to garner public support. The authors share a commitment to researching presidential discourse regarding educational policy because they believe this discourse powerfully shapes educational reform. This article helps me understand the rhetorical situation of the current period of educational reform that began in 1983 with the publication of “A Nation at Risk” under Reagan and continues with Obama’s “Race to the Top” and the Common Core State Standards. I plan to use this study to advance my argument that current educational reform actually fails to reform.