“There’s nothing more real to you than your subjective experience of reality and there’s nothing more opaque to science”.1
– Michael Pollan
If this is true, and I think it would be silly to argue otherwise, then any person should need a particularly good reason to attempt this masochistic-sperlunking. For many, it won’t be, but for teachers it would be hugely beneficial. For professions like teaching what is the best way of doing this thing that, strictly speaking, we cannot do.
Firstly, whatever is done must be done with modesty. We cannot (currently) know so do not act as if you do.
Secondly, we should use metaphors tot help guide only insofar as they are helpful. If it helps to think of learning as a structure in the mind, then do so, but if that structure starts leaning don’t scramble around trying to prop it up, look to why it’s teetering dangerously and learn from that.
Thirdly, we should use these metaphors consistently; if we’re not going to be consistent that the whole enterprise of mapping someone’s thoughts is bound to fail.
1 http://podbay.fm/show/1081584611/e/1526288400?autostart=1, 4:43.