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Mijung Kim and Wolff-Michael Roth

Science educators have come to recognize children’s reasoning and problem solving skills as crucial ingredients of scientific literacy. As a consequence, there has been a concurrent, widespread emphasis on argumentation as a way of developing critical and creative minds. Argumentation has been of increasing interest in science education as a means of actively involving students in science and, thereby, as a means of promoting their learning, reasoning, and problem solving. Many approaches to teaching argumentation place primacy on teaching the structure of the argumentative genre prior to and at the beginning of participating in argumentation. Such an approach, however, is unlikely to succeed because to meaningfully learn the structure (grammar) of argumentation, one already needs to be competent in argumentation. This book offers a different approach to children’s argumentation and reasoning based on dialogical relations, as the origin of internal dialogue (inner speech) and higher psychological functions. In this approach, argumentation first exists as dialogical relation, for participants who are in a dialogical relation with others, and who employ argumentation for the purpose of the dialogical relation. With the multimodality of dialogue, this approach expands argumentation into another level of physicality of thinking, reasoning, and problem solving in classrooms. By using empirical data from elementary classrooms, this book explains how argumentation emerges and develops in and from classroom interactions by focusing on thinking and reasoning through/in relations with others and the learning environment.

Stability and Change in Science Education -- Meeting Basic Learning Needs

Homeostasis and Novelty in Teaching and Learning


Edited by Phyllis Katz and Lucy Avraamidou

In this book the editors consider the resistance to change among teachers and learners despite all the evidence that science participation brings benefits for both individuals and nations. Beginning with biology, Stability and Change in Science Education: Meeting Basic Learning Needs explores this balance in teaching and learning science. The authors reflect upon this equilibrium as they each present their work and its contribution.

The book provides a wide range of examples using the change/stability lens. Authors from the Netherlands, Israel, Spain, Canada and the USA discuss how they observe and consider both homeostasis and novelty in theory, projects and other work. The book contains examples from science educators in schools and in other science rich settings.

Contributors are: Lucy Avraamidou, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Michelle Crowl, Marilynne Eichinger, Lars Guenther, Maria Heras, Phyllis Katz, Joy Kubarek, Lucy R. McClain, Patricia Patrick, Wolff-Michael Roth, Isabel Ruiz-Mallen, Lara Smetana, Hani Swirski, Heather Toomey Zimmerman, and Bart Van de Laar.


Edited by Tasos Barkatsas, Nicky Carr and Grant Cooper

The second decade of the 21st century has seen governments and industry globally intensify their focus on the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as a vehicle for future economic prosperity. Economic opportunities for new industries that are emerging from technological advances, such as those emerging from the field of artificial intelligence also require greater capabilities in science, mathematics, engineering and technologies. In response to such opportunities and challenges, government policies that position STEM as a critical driver of economic prosperity have burgeoned in recent years. Common to all these policies are consistent messages that STEM related industries are the key to future international competitiveness, productivity and economic prosperity.
This book presents a contemporary focus on significant issues in STEM teaching, learning and research that are valuable in preparing students for a digital 21st century. The book chapters cover a wide spectrum of issues and topics using a wealth of research methodologies and methods ranging from STEM definitions to virtual reality in the classroom; multiplicative thinking; STEM in pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education, opportunities and obstacles in STEM; inquiry-based learning in statistics; values in STEM education and building academic leadership in STEM.
The book is an important representation of some of the work currently being done by research-active academics. It will appeal to academics, researchers, teacher educators, educational administrators, teachers and anyone interested in contemporary STEM Education related research in a rapidly changing globally interconnected world.

Contributors are: Natalie Banks, Anastasios (Tasos) Barkatsas, Amanda Berry, Lisa Borgerding, Nicky Carr, Io Keong Cheong, Grant Cooper, Jan van Driel, Jennifer Earle, Susan Fraser, Noleine Fitzallen, Tricia Forrester, Helen Georgiou, Andrew Gilbert, Ineke Henze, Linda Hobbs, Sarah Howard, Sylvia Sao Leng Ieong, Chunlian Jiang, Kathy Jordan, Belinda Kennedy, Zsolt Lavicza, Tricia Mclaughlin, Wendy Nielsen, Shalveena Prasad, Theodosia Prodromou, Wee Tiong Seah, Dianne Siemon, Li Ping Thong, Tessa E. Vossen and Marc J. de Vries.


Edited by Phyllis Katz and Lucy Avraamidou


Edited by Phyllis Katz and Lucy Avraamidou

Homeostasis and Novelty as Concepts for Science Journalism

A Re-Interpretation of the Selection and Depiction of Scientific Issues in the Media


Lars Guenther

Abstract When formal school education ends, for most people mass media become the most important and often the only source of information about science, scientific work, and scientific findings. Thus, media create informal learning contexts when they inform their readers, viewers, and listeners about new advances in science and technology. In these contexts, mass media have the potential to actively influence how people feel and think about science. That is why it is important to investigate how journalists select and depict scientific issues in the media. Homeostasis and novelty can be seen as related to news factors that guide a science journalist in his or her professional work, i.e. when selecting from a pool of potential issues. While the factors consonance, continuity, and composition can represent tendencies of homeostasis; unexpectedness, curiosity, and topicality can represent novelty. In addition, the terms can be applied to historically describe the way science journalists have reported on science, and how others have expected them to report. This chapter will discuss homeostasis and novelty as concepts for science journalism, with a special focus on the media’s representation of scientific evidence (= (un)certainty of scientific results).


Meeting Basic Needs


Phyllis Katz and Lucy Avraamidou

Abstract This introduction provides the rationale for the book. We put forward an argument about the importance of science education and the extensive reform movement whose goals are to make it more relevant to students and the public. We explain how we considered the basic needs of homeostasis and novelty, as we thought about the nature of the changes we seek to implement as science educators. We include a description of the questions the contributing authors sought to answer in approaching the challenge to look at their work in terms of these basic needs.

Leveraging Families’ Shared Experiences to Connect to Disciplinary Content in Ecology

Preliminary Results from the stem Pillars Museum-Library-University Partnership


Heather Toomey Zimmerman, Lucy R. McClain and Michele Crowl

Abstract This chapter considers the homeostasis of family relationships and familiar places and the novelty of science workshops facilitated by community science and engineering professionals. Like the other contributions in this edited volume, our stem Pillars research and development effort balances the familiar or homeostasis, which is the tendency of people to maintain their current state of equilibria, with exposure to novel (i.e., unusual, interesting) science and engineering content. In this sense, our work uses a personally-relevant family learning framework that considers intergenerational relations and shared experiences as a familiar context that can create a safe intellectual space to mediate exposure to novel stem content during the scientific sense-making processes. This chapter illustrates, first, how we used our personally-relevant family learning framework to balance new and familiar experiences in the design of our intergenerational workshops. Next, we provide a case study from our research of how we analyze novel and prior experiences in our video-data from one workshop. We conclude this chapter with a discussion of the applicability of our approach for research and practice.

Maintaining Homeostasis While Embracing Novelty

Students’ Questions as Agents of Student’s Voice in the Science Classroom


Hani Swirski and Ayelet Baram-Tsabari

Abstract In this work we conceptualize homeostasis as the required formal curriculum – the stable, slow changing, centralized requirements set by the Ministry of Education or other institutions for teaching science and technology at various grades. The curriculum is also the basis for high-stakes national exams, which even strengthen its hold on the content discussed in the lesson (Dori & Herscovitz, 1999). Novelty in this work is conceptualized as “the students’ voice”, which refers to learning based on student choices and interests. Although this notion was already introduced in the early 20th century in Dewey’s work (1902, 1916), it is far from being the norm in mainstream science teaching. The ecology of many science classrooms includes a highly detailed science curriculum, which was not developed with student’s interests in mind (Hagay & Baram-Tsabari, 2011). Moreover, researchers are still drawing attention to the lack of a “student voice” in teaching and learning (Cook-Sather, 2006) and to the disparities between the curriculum and students’ interest in elementary (Baram-Tsabari & Yarden, 2005; Swirski & Baram-tsabari, 2014), middle (e.g. Mcphail, Pierson, Freeman, Goodman, & Ayappa, 2000) and high school (e.g. Hagay & Baram-Tsabari, 2011). In this chapter we review empirical insights about students’ interest in science with reference to its stability over a decade and its variations across different age groups and gender. We describe “the shadow curriculum” strategy for identifying students’ interests based on their questions and incorporating them into the formal curriculum in a planned manner (Hagay & Baram-Tsabari, 2011). Using this strategy, we aim to maintain homeostasis while embracing novelty, by using students’ questions as agents of their voice in the science classroom.