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Front Psychol ; 14: 1192653, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20245579


This study aimed to explore how metaphors were used to interpret the pandemic and to address its challenges in primary and secondary schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. A questionnaire was administered to educators and teachers to understand how languages, images, and metaphors were used by themselves and their students to talk about the pandemic and their experiences of living with it. The goal of the questionnaire was to guide critical reflection and encourage more informed language choices. While the existing literature points out the alleged overuse of war metaphors and military frames in public discourse, our findings show that war metaphors are relatively frequent, with other metaphorical frames widely used by teachers and educators to foster resilient attitudes in students. Moreover, in their professional contexts, teachers and educators mostly use metaphorical frames involving resilient attitudes. Our interpretation of the results supports the hypothesis that the purposeful use and deliberate production of metaphors support the choice of metaphors with positive, constructive implications. Finally, some implications of these findings on the theory of metaphor and the methodology of the research are discussed.