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Learning in the Making

Disposition and Design in Early Education

Margaret Carr, Carolyn Jones, Wendy Lee, Anne B. Smith, Kate Marshall and Judith Duncan

This book presents an international perspective on environmental educational and specifically the influence that context has on this aspect of curriculum. The focus is on environmental education both formal and non formal and the factors that impact upon its effectiveness, particularly in non-Western and non-English-speaking contexts (i.e., outside the UK, USA, Australia, NZ, etc. ). An important feature of the book is that it draws upon the experiences and research from local experts from an extremely diverse cohort across the world (25 countries and 2 regions in total). The book addresses topics such as: the development of environmental education in different countries, its implementation, the influence of political, cultural, societal or religious mores; governmental or ministerial drives; economic or other pressures driving curriculum reform; the influence of external assessment regimes on environmental education, and so on.

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Edited by Yoshinori Shimizu, Berinderjeet Kaur, Rongjin Huang and David Clarke

Mathematical tasks have long been recognized as crucial mediators ?between mathematical content and the mathematics learner. For many people, the mathematics classroom is defined by the type of tasks one finds there - and this is appropriate. Mathematical tasks are the embodiment of the curricular pretext that brings each particular set of individuals together in every mathematics classroom. In other contexts, individuals come together to engage in musical performances or dramatic performances. The performances of the mathematics classroom are largely the performance of mathematical tasks and if we are to understand and facilitate the learning that is the purpose of such settings then we must understand the nature of the performances that we find there.
The classroom performance of a task is ultimately a unique synthesis of task, teacher, students and situation. Of particular interest are differences in the function of mathematically similar tasks when employed by different teachers, in different classrooms, for different instructional purposes, with different students. By making comparison possible between the classroom use of mathematical tasks in different classrooms around the world, the analyses reported in this book reveal the profound differences in how each teacher utilises mathematical tasks, in partnership with their students, to create a distinctive form of mathematical activity.
The Learner’s Perspective Study aims to juxtapose the observable practices of the classroom and the meanings attributed to those practices by classroom participants. The LPS research design documents sequences of at least ten lessons, using three video cameras, supplemented by the reconstructive accounts of classroom participants obtained in post-lesson video-stimulated interviews, and by test and questionnaire data, and copies of student written material. In each participating country, data generation focuses on the classrooms of three teachers, identified by the local mathematics education community as competent, and situated in demographically different school communities within the one major city. The large body of complex data supports both the characterisation of practice in the classrooms of competent teachers and the development of theory.

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Edited by Tom Wilson, Peter Park and Anada Colón-Muñiz

Memories of Paulo is a beautiful book, one that is enmeshed with humanity, humility and love, reflecting the life and work of Paulo Freire. Many of us know Freire through his writing and dissemination of ideas, which have gained currency over the past few decades in a number of circles around the world. But this book does not seek to offer a critique of Freire’s work. Rather, what distinguishes this work is that it involves a diverse collection of scholars and friends, talking and writing about what and who Freire was. We learn that he lived his life in an exceptional way, human and humane, filled with moments that have touched a range of people from all walks of life. As powerful as his message was, this book brings to light the true meaning of radical love, and it is clear that he injected love into his life-journey. Filled with stories, anecdotes and memories of Paulo, the book makes one question the meaning of education, and of life. Memories of Paulo is nothing short of an abrazo from those who loved a man who touched so many. Through this text, we learn a great deal about Paulo Freire, his life and his work, and we also learn of the profound impact that he has made on so many.

Navigating Through the Storm

Reinventing Education for Postmodern Democracies

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Aharon Aviram

This book aims to systematically tackle the most severe crisis to ever beset Western education systems, which stems from the growing clash between the Platonic-modern civilization—still very much at the core of prevailing education systems—and the postmodern civilization which has become dominant in Western societies in the last generations. The book counters this crisis by radically and systematically rethinking education for postmodern democracies, beginning by comprehensively analyzing the main features of current postmodern "storms" along with their engulfing socio-cultural and educational implications, and proceeding to offer a theoretical and practical blueprint designed to harness these storms for optimally realizing the basic Humanistic values that should guide education in liberal democracies: personal autonomy, morality and dialogical belonging.

New Thinking in Comparative Education

Honouring Robert Cowen

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Edited by Marianne A. Larsen

This book is a cutting-edge collection of articles inspired by the writings of Robert Cowen about comparative education. Authors take up Cowen’s central concerns: re-theorising the field of comparative education, rethinking the interpretive concepts that are used by comparative education researchers, and the relationships between them. The authors take us beyond old ideas to provide some new and fresh thinking on and about educational phenomena and the field of comparative education. Writers engage in critical thinking about the intellectual agenda of comparative education, the role of theory in their work, the contexts that are shaping the field, and epistemic consequences of these broader changes for comparative education.
The volume contains voices from a variety of geographical regions, theoretical positions, newer and more well-established scholars in the field. The book also includes shorter reflections from individuals in the field who know Robert Cowen personally. More well-established themes in the field are discussed such as borrowing and transfer, as well as newer concepts and ideas from Cowen’s work including shape-shifting, and transitologies. New Thinking in Comparative Education will be of interest to those who are studying and doing research in the field of comparative and international education, both at the under-graduate and graduate levels of education.

Edited by Ference Marton, Shek Kam Tse and Wai Ming Cheung

Although more people speak Chinese than any other language on Earth, proficiency in Chinese is largely confined to the people who live in or adjacent to the Chinese Mainland and Taiwan, and to the ethnic Chinese inhabitants of the various “Chinatowns” in countries around the world. Despite its allure, many people find Chinese a hard language to learn, including a considerable number of children who learn it as mother tongue. The basic units of written Chinese are ideographic symbols called characters; and the meaning and pronunciation of each character is determined by the tone attached to it by the speaker. Facing the very large number of Chinese characters and words, it seems impossible for learners, regardless of their native language, to master the language other than via rote memorization. The attempt to facilitate the route to proficiency in Chinese has understandably attracted the attention of numerous psycholinguistic researchers and educators.
Using the Theory of Variation as the primary learning framework, the authors of this book conducted a number of large-scale and robustly-designed studies to investigate the relationship between the learning and teaching of Chinese, mostly among native speakers However we believe that the results are applicable to the learning of Chinese as a second language. Studies into ways of understanding the phonological and orthographical acquisition of characters are reported; ways of helping learners come to terms with reading Chinese, a textual language that does not always correspond word-for word with the spoken discourse, are explained; and the implications of the evidence for Chinese curriculum and syllabus design are pointedly addressed by the contributors. The authors believe that there are effective ways to become skilled in Chinese and that learning Chinese can be pleasurable and interesting. They provide empirical evidence for educators, parents, policymakers and readers interested in Chinese language education. They also illuminate the path to the mastery of Chinese in schools and how Chinese should be taught in today’s world.

Marcelo C. Borba, Ana Paula dos Santos Malheiros and Rúbia Barcelos Amaral Zulatto

This book will address the discussion on online distance education, teacher education, and how the mathematics is transformed with the Internet, based on examples that illustrate the possibilities of different course models and on the theoretical construct humans-with-media. We will attempt to give the reader the sensation of experiencing one of the various distance courses in which we have participated, or a virtual community that does not have the structure of a course. And if the reader has not yet participated in any of these possibilities, we believe that the book may help, but not substitute, the experience of participating in a discussion list, a course, or a virtual community constituted by a specific interest.
This book is part of a collection of books called Trends in Mathematics Education, originally published in Brazil. This collection began being published in 2001 and currently has 21 titles published by more than 30 different authors. It is designed to present research to a broader audience that extends beyond academia. The books have been widely used in graduate courses, research groups and in some undergraduate classes. About 60, 000 copies of the Portuguese edition have been sold. Some titles have been translated into Spanish and English.

Ontologies for Developing Things

Making Health Care Futures Through Technology

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Casper Bruun Jensen

Ontologies for Developing Things is a work of unflagging intelligence and intellectual energy, spilling over with new ideas, surprising angles, sharp perceptions and interesting juxtapositions, and written with correspondingly attractive punch and force. Readers interested in information technologies, contemporary developments in social studies of science, and related cultural and political theory will find the book immensely engaging and endlessly useful. - Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Duke University and Brown University [author of Scandalous Knowledge: Science Truth and the Human and/or Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion]

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Edited by Ilan Gur-Ze'ev

The critique of Critical Pedagogy—in its current various trends and paths teaches me not only the shortcomings of various versions of Critical Pedagogy. No less important, it offers an invitation to a reflection on the limitations, costs, and open horizons of “critique” itself. It is an invitation to transcend “critique” as such. But what alternative do we have, and from where or with what ears might we listen to the music of the new call? What is it that awaits us outside the critical tradition that in an unproblematic manner we could use, internalize, or surrender ourselves to? Such questions reintroduce us to Utopia. They reintroduce us to the Utopia of the possibility of happiness of the kind that is neither made possible nor advocated by self-abandonment and enslavement/destruction of the otherness of the Other and the “I”. This book manifests a refusal to abandon Critical Theory’s telos; it offers no “solutions”, “victories of the oppressed”, and “emancipation”, neither does it promise “peace” and unproblematic “consensus”. On the contrary: all the eternal open, Diasporic individual can hope for is worthy Diasporic Love of Life, creativity, mature forms of togetherness, and eternal nomadism as a manifestation of co-poiesis.

Wayne Melville

The ubiquitous science department occupies an unusual position in most secondary schools. Traditionally, they have been part of the organisational structure of schools, with administrative responsibilities over room allocations, teaching assignments and the management of laboratory equipment. These are important roles, but they only tell half the story. Science teachers are more than members of an organisational structure. They are also members of a science education community which is shaped by their shared understanding of science. The science department as community also possesses a pivotal, if undervalued, role in teacher professional learning.
This book conceptualises professional learning as the engagement of teachers in a virtues-based personal reflection and/or public discourse around the episteme, techne and phronesis in the spaces ‘in-between’ the metaphors of understanding community: meanings, practice, and identity. As such, it speaks to heads of science departments, school administrators and those with an interest in leadership within schools.