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Why Look at Plants?

The Botanical Emergence in Contemporary Art

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Edited by Giovanni Aloi

Why Look at Plants? proposes a thought-provoking and fascinating look into the emerging cultural politics of plant-presence in contemporary art. Through the original contributions of artists, scholars, and curators who have creatively engaged with the ultimate otherness of plants in their work, this volume maps and problematizes new intra-active, agential interconnectedness involving human-non-human biosystems central to artistic and philosophical discourses of the Anthropocene.

Plant’s fixity, perceived passivity, and resilient silence have relegated the vegetal world to the cultural background of human civilization. However, the recent emergence of plants in the gallery space constitutes a wake-up-call to reappraise this relationship at a time of deep ecological and ontological crisis. Why Look at Plants? challenges readers’ pre-established notions through a diverse gathering of insights, stories, experiences, perspectives, and arguments encompassing multiple disciplines, media, and methodologies.

Being a Teacher | Researcher

A Primer on Doing Authentic Inquiry Research on Teaching and Learning

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Konstantinos Alexakos

Using a sociocultural approach to critical action research, this book is a primer in doing reflexive, authentic inquiry research in teaching and learning for educators as teacher | researchers. Rather than the artificial dichotomy between theory and practice, the roles of teacher and researcher are instead seen in a dialectic relationship (indicated by the symbol “|” in teacher | researcher) in which each informs and mediates the other in the process of revising and generating new knowledge that is of benefit to those being researched.
In addition to providing a theoretical foundation for authentic inquiry, Being a Teacher | Researcher provides a detailed framework with ideas and strategies that interested educators can apply in exploring teaching and learning in both formal and informal settings. It provides concrete examples of how to use authentic inquiry as a basis for collaborating with others to improve the quality of teaching and learning while cogenerating new theory and associated practices that bridge what has been described as a theory-practice divide. Included in this book are how to plan and carry out authentic inquiry studies, choosing appropriate methodologies, methods of data collection and analysis, negotiating research with human participants, using authenticity criteria and characteristics, and addressing challenges and conflicts for teacher | researchers.

Creating Destruction

Constructing Images of Violence and Genocide

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Edited by Nancy Billias and Leonhard Praeg

This volume offers new and fascinating insights into some of the most urgent and relevant dimensions of violence in our time. Specialists from a broad range of disciplines explore some of the reasons and ways in which humans choose to harm one another. The two sections of the book engage a common theme, namely how ideological constructions influence, facilitate, and shape the understanding of our own involvement in violence. Whilst the first section focuses on one specific form of violence, namely genocide, the second explores our construction of violent images: verbally, visually, aurally, legally, socially, imaginally. This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the multi-faceted and complex dimensions of violence in our contemporary, global world.

Analyzing Communication

Praxis of Method

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Wolff-Michael Roth and Pei-Ling Hsu

The collection of data sources in the social sciences involves communication in one form or another: between research participants who are observed while communicating or between researcher and researched, who communicate so that the former can learn about/from the latter. How does one analyze communication? In particular, how does one learn to analyze data sources established in and about communication? In response to these questions, the authors provide insights into the "laboratory" of social science research concerned with the analysis of communication in all of its forms, including language, gestures, images, and prosody. Writing in the spirit of Bourdieu, and his recommendations for the transmission of a scientific habitus, the authors allow readers to follow their social science research in the making. Thus, each chapter focuses on a particular topic-identity, motivation, knowing, interaction-and exhibits how to go about researching it: How to set up research projects, how to collect data sources, how to find research questions, and how to do many other practical things to succeed. The authors comment on excerpts from the findings of between 2 and 4 published studies to describe how to write and publish research, how to address audiences, which decisions they have made, which alternative approaches there might exist, and many other useful recommendations for data analysis and paper publishing. In the end, the authors actually follow an expert social scientist as he analyzes data in real time in front of an audience of graduate students. The entire book therefore constitutes something like a journey into the kitchen of an experienced chef who gives advice in the process of cooking.

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 Alberto J. Rodriguez

In this era of mandated high stakes and standardized testing, teachers and schools officials find themselves struggling to meet the demands for improved student achievement. At the same time, they are also expected to teach all subjects as required by national and state curriculum standards. Because of these competing demands, science is not even taught or taught less often in order to make more room for mathematics and language arts “drill and practice” and “teaching to the test.” Anyone concerned with providing students with a well-rounded education should ask whether these drastic measures—even if they were to show improvement in achievement—justify denying children access to the unique opportunities for intellectual growth and social awareness that the effective instruction of science provides. Will these students have enough exposure to the science curriculum to prepare them to do well later in middle and high school? How is this current situation going to help ameliorate the pervasive achievement gap in science, and how is it going to motivate students to pursue science-related careers?
The authors of this book believe that instead of sacrificing the science curriculum to make more time for drill and practice in mathematics and language arts, what should be done is to connect current research on literacy and science instruction with effective pedagogy. Therefore, this volume provides fresh theoretical insights and practical applications for better understanding how science can be used as a pathway to teaching literacy, and hence, as a pathway to improving teachers’ practice and students’ learning.

The World of Science Education

Science Education in Asia

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Edited by Yew-Jin Lee

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, Arab States, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The focus of this Handbook is on science education in Asia and the scholarship that most closely supports this program. The reviews of the research situate what has been accomplished within a given field in an Asian rather than an international context. The purpose therefore is to articulate and exhibit regional networks and trends that produced specific forms of science education. The thrust lies in identifying the roots of research programs and sketching trajectories—focusing the changing façade of problems and solutions within regional contexts. The approach allows readers to review what has been done and accomplished, what is missing and what might be done next.

Action Learning and Action Research

Songlines through Interviews

Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt

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John Smyth, Lawrence Angus, Barry Down and Peter McInerney

Activist and Socially Critical School and Community Renewal comes about at an incredibly important point in history, and it offers a genuinely new paradigm. This book attempts what few others have tried—to bring together knowledge and literature around school reform and community renewal through authentic ethnographic stories of real schools and communities. The book describes and analyzes a courageous struggle for a more socially just world, around notions of relational solidarity that speak back to ideas that continue to privilege the already advantaged. This book provides some desperately needed new storylines as a basis for school and community renewal for the most excluded groups in society. It provides a new social imagination for ‘doing school’ in contexts that stand to benefit from school and community voiced approaches.

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Edited by Tina (A.C.) Besley

Tina Besley has edited this collection which examines and critiques the ways that different countries, particularly Commonwealth and European states, assess the quality of educational research in publicly funded higher education institutions. Such assessment often ranks universities, departments and even individual academics, and plays an important role in determining the allocation of funding to support university research. Yet research is only one aspect of academic performance alongside teaching and service or administration components. The book focuses on the theoretical and practical issues that accompany the development of national and international systems of research assessment, particularly in the field of education. In our interconnected, globalised world, some of the ideas of assessment that have evolved in one country have almost inevitably travelled elsewhere especially the UK model. Consequently the book comprises an introduction, eighteen chapters that discuss the situation in ten countries, followed by a postscript. It gathers together an outstanding group of twenty-five prominent international scholars with expertise in the field of educational research and includes many with hands-on experience in the peer review process. The book is designed to appeal to a wide group of people involved as knowledge workers and knowledge managers—academics, students and policy makers - in higher education and interested in assessment and accountability mechanisms and processes.