Publication details [#52]

Fernández-Cano, Antonio, Manuel Torralbo, Mónica Vallejo and Inés Fernández-Guerrero. 2012. A narrative review of Greek myths as interpretative metaphors in educational research and evaluation. Educational research 7 (3) : 238–248. 11 pp. URL
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: Elsevier


This paper reviews a series of Greek myths that could be used as metaphors or interpretative similes for explanatory and evaluative purposes in educational research and evaluation. In particular, the paper discusses Procrustes, referring to the use of arbitrary evaluative standards; the myth of Mentor, the embodiment of the researcher as facilitator/improver for new, inexperienced researchers; Prometheus, or the archetype of the self-sacrificing researcher; Periphetes, representing the evaluator who is cruel through incompetence; Sisyphus, symbolising the researcher’s anxiousness to achieve his goals; and Ulysses, an archetype for qualitative research. By using myths to interpret educational phenomena, one reconnects contemporary qualitative educational enquiry with its ancient predecessor forms of meaning making.