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STEPS to STEM – Student Science Notebook

Aaron D. Isabelle and Gilbert A. Zinn

A “Sci-Book” or “Science Notebook” serves as an essential companion to the science curriculum supplement, STEPS to STEM. As students learn key concepts in the seven “big ideas” in this program (Electricity & Magnetism; Air & Flight; Water & Weather; Plants & Animals; Earth & Space; Matter & Motion; Light & Sound), they record their ideas, plans, and evidence. There is ample space for students to keep track of their observations and findings, as well as a section to reflect upon the use of “Science and Engineering Practices” as set forth in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Using a science notebook is reflective of the behavior of scientists. One of the pillars of the Nature of Science is that scientists must document their work to publish their research results; it is a necessary part of the scientific enterprise. This is important because STEPS to STEM is a program for young scientists who learn within a community of scientists. Helping students to think and act like scientists is a critical feature of this program. Students learn that they need to keep a written record if they are to successfully share their discoveries and curiosities with their classmates and with the teacher. Teachers should also model writing in science to help instill a sense of purpose and pride in using and maintaining a Sci-Book. Lastly, students’ documentation can serve as a valuable form of authentic assessment; teachers can utilize Sci-Books to monitor the learning process and the development of science skills.

A Companion to Interdisciplinary STEM Project-Based Learning

For Educators by Educators (Second Edition)

Edited by Robert M. Capraro, Mary Margaret Capraro, Jennifer G. Whitfield and Matthew J. Etchells

This text contains 24 Project-Based Learning (PBL) lessons written by high school teachers (adaptable for middle school) that include lesson appropriate for all subjects. All the PBL lessons in the book were used in urban high-school classrooms. The lessons were developed over a three-year period while working with the Aggie Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Center. The PBL lessons are mostly extended activities but adaptable to various situations and are interdisciplinary covering science, mathematics, technology, engineering, social studies, and language arts objectives. Each chapter contains the information necessary to implement each lesson, including handouts, scenario descriptions, rubrics for scoring, and all the elements likely to ensure successful implementation. All lessons include both formative and summative assessment tools as well as a separate section on assessment with sample multiple-choice items matched to high-stakes assessments common in most states. This practical book is the perfect companion to the handbook for learning about implementing PBLs: Project-based Learning: An Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Approach.

STEM Project-Based Learning

An Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Approach. Second Edition

Edited by Robert M. Capraro, Mary Margaret Capraro and Jim Morgan

This second edition of Project-Based Learning (PBL) presents an original approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centric PBL. We define PBL as an “ill-defined task with a well-defined outcome,” which is consistent with our engineering design philosophy and the accountability highlighted in a standards-based environment.
This model emphasizes a backward design that is initiated by well-defined outcomes, tied to local, state, or national standard that provide teachers with a framework guiding students’ design, solving, or completion of ill-defined tasks. This book was designed for middle and secondary teachers who want to improve engagement and provide contextualized learning for their students. However, the nature and scope of the content covered in the 14 chapters are appropriate for preservice teachers as well as for advanced graduate method courses.
New to this edition is revised and expanded coverage of STEM PBL, including implementing STEM PBL with English Language Learners and the use of technology in PBL. The book also includes many new teacher-friendly forms, such as advanced organizers, team contracts for STEM PBL, and rubrics for assessing PBL in a larger format.

Edited by Erkki Pehkonen, Maija Ahtee and Jari Lavonen

The Finnish students’success in the first PISA 2000 evaluation was a surprise to most of the Finns, and even people working in teacher education and educational administration had difficulties to believe that this situation would continue. Finland’s second success in the next PISA 2003 comparison has been very pleasing for teachers and teacher educators, and for education policymakers. The good results on the second time waked us to think seriously on possible reasons for the success. Several international journalists and expert delegations from different countries have asked these reasons while visiting in Finland. Since we had no commonly acceptable explanation to students’success, we decided at the University of Helsinki to put together a book “How Finns Learn Mathematics and Science?”, in order to give a commonly acceptable explanation to our students’success in the international PISA evaluations. The book tries to explain the Finnish teacher education and school system as well as Finnish children’s learning environment at the level of the comprehensive school, and thus give explanations for the Finnish PISA success. The book is a joint enterprise of Finnish teacher educators. The explanations for success given by altogether 40 authors can be classified into three groups: Teacher and teacher education, school and curriculum, and other factors, like the use of ICT and a developmental project LUMA. The main result is that there is not one clear explanation, although research-based teacher education seems to have some influence. But the true explanation may be a combination of several factors.

How should I know?

Preservice Teachers' Images of Knowing (by Heart ) in Mathematics and Science


Kathleen T. Nolan

Elementary preservice teachers’school experiences of mathematics and science have shaped their images of knowing, including what counts as knowledge and what it means to know (in) mathematics and science. In this book, preservice teachers’ voices challenge the hegemony of official everyday narratives relating to these images.
The book is written as a parody of a physical science textbook on the topic of light, presenting a kaleidoscope of elementary preservice teachers’ narratives of knowing (in) mathematics and science. These narratives are tied together by the metaphorical thread of the properties of light, but also held apart by the tensions and contradictions with/in such a critical epistemological exploration. Through a postmodern lens, the only grand narrative that could be imag(in)ed for this text is one in which the personal lived experience narratives of the participants mingle and interweave to create a sort of kaleidoscope of narratives. With each turn of a kaleidoscope, light’s reflection engenders new patterns and emergent designs. The narratives of this research text highlight patterns of exclusion, gendered messages, binary oppositions, and the particle nature and shadowy texture of knowing (in) mathematics and science. The presentation format of the book emphasizes the reflexive and polyphonic nature of the research design, illustrated through layers of spoken text with/in performative text with/in metaphorical text.
The metaphor of a kaleidoscope is an empowering possibility for a critical narrative written to both engage and provoke the reader into imag(in)ing a critical journey toward possibilities for a different “knowing by heart” in mathematics and science and for appreciating lived experience narratives with/in teacher education.

Key Works in Radical Constructivism

(edited by Marie Larochelle)


Ernst von Glasersfeld

Key Works on Radical Constructivism brings together a number of essays by Ernst von Glasersfeld that illustrate the application of a radical constructivist way of thinking in the areas of education, language, theory of knowledge, and the analysis of a few concepts that are indispensable in almost everything we think and do. Ernst von Glasersfeld’s work opens a window on how we know what we know. The present work grew out of a desire to make more accessible this line of thought, to highlight its originality and consistency, and to illustrate its fecundity in the domains of cognition and learning.
The first three parts of this book contain texts by Glasersfeld that outline the constructivist approach and explicate the frequently drastic reconceptualizations he has suggested. Both the last part and the postscript consist of commentaries by Edith Ackermann, Jacques Désautels, Gérard Fourez, Leslie P. Steffe and Kenneth Tobin, scholars in the fields that Glasersfeld has been concerned with. They examine a number of critical aspects pertaining to (radical) constructivism’s current and future development, often tracing out paths that warrant further exploration and reflection, in particular concerning the sociopolitical dimension of knowledge.
Key Works on Radical Constructivism is intended as a reference book for researchers, educators, and students of education—and for anyone interested in grasping, or deepening their grasp of, radical constructivism’s tenets, ambitions and concerns. Readers will discover in this collection of firsthand contributions the contours of a bold, contemporary debate about a most compelling current of thought.

Redesigning Pedagogy

Reflections on Theory and Praxis


Edited by Wendy D. Bokhorst-Heng, Margery D. Osborne and Kerry Lee

This book brings together selected papers from a conference focusing on Redesigning Pedagogy, organized by the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice, National Institute of Education, Singapore. The papers are organised around seven key themes: Literacy Education, Relations of Power, Reflection, Meaning Making, Evaluation, and Mathematics and Science. There are two distinctive features in this title. First is its international focus. In addition to providing readers with an introduction to pedagogy in Singapore, it contains discussions on the environments in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, and the United States. A second focus is a strong commitment to transnational research. Although influenced by the theoretical perspectives of Bourdieu, Luke, and others, the authors are primarily focused on classroom practices.
This title will be of interest to students, researchers, and practitioners who are interested in broad thematic and comparative issues. With a number of chapters on Literacy Education, Mathematics, and Science, it will also be of appeal to those more interested in content specific areas.

Travelling Through Education

Uncertainty, Mathematics, Responsibility

Ole Skovsmose

This is a personal notebook from a conceptual travel. But, in a different sense, it also represents a report on travelling. The main part of the manuscript was written in Brazil, Denmark and England, whilst notes have also been inspired by visits to other countries. So, the book not only represents conceptual travel, it also reflects seasons of real travelling. In Part 1, the book comments on the critical position of mathematics education, and also indicates some concerns of critical mathematics education. Part 2 comments on mathematics in action, and considers the discussion of mathematics as an applied discipline in the contexts of technology, management, engineering, economics, etc. In Part 3, the book comments on mathematics and science in general. These comments are then generalised into a discussion of ‘reason’ and of the ‘apparatus of reason’. Finally, Part 4 returns to the discussion of mathematics education, and comments on notions that could become ‘sensitive’ to the critical position of mathematics education. Ole Skovsmose is also travelling between different academic fields. He touches upon mathematics and mathematics education, the philosophy of mathematics, technology and science, as well as sociological issues, glancing over issues such as globalisation, ghettoising, learning society, and risk society.
Travelling with the author, the reader will become aware of connections between many of these different issues.