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The Language of Education

Key Terms and Concepts in Teaching and Learning

The Language of Education: Key Terms and Concepts in Teaching and Learning is a series of short handbooks each of which focuses on the special language inherent in a variety of educational disciplines. Those entering graduate programs, scholars from non-English speaking areas, teachers with interests in accessing the academic literature, and even those wishing to explore outside their discipline should find something of interest in these books. In short, these books support shared understanding by assisting all of those working with a particular discipline to share a common vocabulary and foster effective communication.

The featured terms in each volume have been selected for their relevance and their potential to be defined uniquely in a particular educational field. The key terms are discussed on one page with a short introductory definition for quick reference followed by a longer expanded discussion supported by references. The index in each book includes links to encourage readers to explore related terms and concepts and thus gain additional information and context. Those who are new to the academic language of a particular educational area, may find it useful to read the books in this series as if each were a collection of very short stories introducing that discipline.
Research Dialogs consists of books written for undergraduate and graduate students of science education, teachers, parents, policy makers, and the public at large. Research Dialogs bridge theory, research, and the practice of science education. Books in the series focus on what we know about key topics in science education – including, teaching, connecting the learning of science to the culture of students, emotions and the learning of science, labs, field trips, involving parents, science and everyday life, scientific literacy, including the latest technologies to facilitate science learning, expanding the roles of students, after school programs, museums and science, doing dissections, etc.
Learning today is no longer confined to schools and classrooms. Modern information and communication technologies make the learning possible anywhere, any time. The emerging and evolving technologies are creating a knowledge era, changing the educational landscape, and facilitating the learning innovations. In recent years educators find ways to cultivate curiosity, nurture creativity and engage the mind of the learners by using innovative approaches.
Contemporary Approaches to Research in Learning Innovations explores approaches to research in learning innovations from the learning sciences view. Learning sciences is an interdisciplinary field that draws on multiple theoretical perspectives and research with the goal of advancing knowledge about how people learn. The field includes cognitive science, educational psychology, anthropology, computer and information science and explore pedagogical, technological, sociological and psychological aspects of human learning. Research in this approaches examine the social, organizational and cultural dynamics of learning environments, construct scientific models of cognitive development, and conduct design-based experiments.
Contemporary Approaches to Research in Learning Innovations covers research in developed and developing countries and scalable projects which will benefit everyday learning and universal education. Recent research includes improving social presence and interaction in collaborative learning, using epistemic games to foster new learning, and pedagogy and praxis of ICT integration in school curricula.
Each volume in the 7-volume series The World of Science Education reviews research in a key region of the world. These regions include North-America, South and Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Israel, North Africa and the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
There continues to be growing concern about the state of the environment, yet we are often confused by the complexities of economic, ethical, political, and social issues related to it. Daily, there are references in the news media to environmental issues such as global climate change, ozone depletion, dwindling resources, famine, disease, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and continuing job losses in many BC communities. The problems we face both as individuals and within our broader society are now so pervasive and ingrained within our cultural ways of being that we can no longer look to education about science and technology alone to solve these problems. Resultantly, environmental learning can and should include a sustained critique on dominant societal and industrial practices that often contribute to widespread and localized environmental problems.
We must also turn to ourselves as individuals, as researchers and as educational professionals to make change and develop a new ethic - aresponsible attitude toward caring for the earth. Working to integrate environmental learning within all subject areas promotes this change in attitude by providing students with opportunities to experience and investigate the relationships linking individuals, societies, and natural surroundings. Education ‘about’, ‘in’ and ‘for’ the environment provides students with opportunities to learn about the functioning of natural systems, to identify their beliefs and opinions, consider a range of views, and ultimately make informed and responsible choices for themselves, their families and communities. This book series aims to look at environmental learning and the associated educational research related to these practices from a broad and international perspective.
Cultural and Historical Perspectives in Science Education: Distinguished Contributors features a profile of scholarly products selected from across the career of an outstanding science education researcher. Although there are several variants in regards to what is included in the volumes of the series the most basic form consists of republication of 8-10 of the scholar’s most significant publications along with a critical review and commentary of these pieces in terms of the field at the time of doing the work, the theories underpinning the research and the methods employed, and the extent to which the work made an impact in science education and beyond. Another genre of Key Works republishes the most influential research in a selected area of interest to science educators. Examples of the areas we will feature include science teacher education, science teaching, language in science, equity, the social nature of scientific knowledge, and conceptions and conceptual change. Collections of articles are placed in an historical context and the rationale for changing perspectives is provided and analyzed in relation to advances and changing priorities in science education. Each volume shows how individuals shaped and were shaped by the cultural context of science education, including its historical unfolding.
The Biotechnology Learning Series is aimed to bring about discussion around the introduction of biotechnology in schools and tertiary learning environments. Biotechnology is an expanding area of scientific and community interest, one that it is important students understand because of its potential to impact on them and their communities. The development of scientifically and technologically literate citizens has been almost universally welcomed as a desirable goal for education and the introduction of biotechnology in schools can contribute to this. This series will include publications on communicating biotechnology, linking schools, industry and research, case studies of classroom research in introducing biotechnology, bioethics, futures and critical thinking in biotechnology. Although the context for the series is specifically biotechnology the publications will be useful to science and technology educators internationally. The Biotechnology Learning Series arose from research and development work for The New Zealand Biotechnology Learning Hub. The Hub was developed to make modern biotechnology more accessible to school teachers and students. The issue for teachers and science and technology educators is how to provide learning experiences in this area. The Hub funded by the New Zealand Government consists primarily of an on-line portal ( containing case studies and resources of biotechnology in action alongside teacher resources that demonstrate how biotechnology contexts can be transferred into a classroom setting to contribute to teacher and student scientific and technological literacy. The editors of the series encourage proposals from researchers in science and technology education.
Technology Education has gone through a lot of changes in the past decades. It has developed from a craft oriented school subject to a learning area in which the meaning of technology as an important part of our contemporary culture is explored, both by the learning of theoretical concepts and through practical activities. This development has been accompanied by educational research. The output of research studies is published mostly as articles in scholarly Technology Education and Science Education journals. There is a need, however, for more than that. The field still lacks an international book series that is entirely dedicated to Technology Education. The International Technology Education Studies aim at providing the opportunity to publish more extensive texts than in journal articles, or to publish coherent collections of articles/chapters that focus on a certain theme.
In this book series monographs and edited volumes will be published. The books will be peer reviewed in order to assure the quality of the texts.
Mathematics and science education are in a state of change. Received models of teaching, curriculum, and researching in the two fields are adopting and developing new ways of thinking about how people of all ages know, learn, and develop. The recent literature in both fields includes contributions focusing on issues and using theoretical frames that were unthinkable a decade ago. For example, we see an increase in the use of conceptual and methodological tools from anthropology and semiotics to understand how different forms of knowledge are interconnected, how students learn, how textbooks are written, etcetera. Science and mathematics educators also have turned to issues such as identity and emotion as salient to the way in which people of all ages display and develop knowledge and skills. And they use dialectical or phenomenological approaches to answer ever arising questions about learning and development in science and mathematics.
The purpose of this series is to encourage the publication of books that are close to the cutting edge of both fields. The series aims at becoming a leader in providing refreshing and bold new work—rather than out-of-date reproductions of past states of the art—shaping both fields more than reproducing them, thereby closing the traditional gap that exists between journal articles and books in terms of their salience about what is new. The series is intended not only to foster books concerned with knowing, learning, and teaching in school but also with doing and learning mathematics and science across the whole lifespan (e.g., science in kindergarten; mathematics at work); and it is to be a vehicle for publishing books that fall between the two domains—such as when scientists learn about graphs and graphing as part of their work.