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Edited by Xiangyun Du, Erik de Graaff and Anette Kolmos

The success of Problem Based Learning and Project Organised learning (PBL) as an educational method in the field of Higher Engineering Education is clear and beyond any doubt. An increasing number of Universities of Technology all over the world applies PBL in their curriculum. There are many sound arguments for changing to PBL, such as enhancing students’ motivation, integration of practice oriented competences, improved retention of students, augmenting the quality of education, collaboration with industry.
More and more educational research is supplying evidence to sustain these arguments. Engineers create innovations to improve the quality of our life. It just makes sense that the institutes of Higher Engineering Education want to know what educational innovations contribute to the quality of engineering education.
To promote research on PBL the UNESCO chair in Problem Based Learning in Engineering Education (UCPBL) organised the first Research Symposium on Problem Based Learning in Engineering and Science Education, June 30th-July 1st, 2008 at Aalborg University. This book contains a selection of papers from this research symposium, which have been reviewed and further developed.

Authentic Science Revisited

In Praise of Diversity, Heterogeneity, Hybridity

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth, Michiel van Eijck, Giuliano Reis and Pei-Ling Hsu

Since its appearance in 1995, Authentic School Science has been a resource for many teachers and schools to rethink and change what they are doing in and with their science classrooms. As others were trying to implement the kinds of learning environments that we had described, our own thinking and teaching praxis changed in part because of our dissatisfaction with our own understanding. Over the years, we have piloted ever-new ways of organizing science lessons to figure out what works and how both successful and not-so-successful ways of doing science education should be theorized. In this period, we developed a commitment to cultural-historical activity theory, which does not dichotomize individual and collective, social and material, embodied and cultural forms of knowing, and so on. It turns out now that the problem does not lie with the level of agreement between school science and laboratory science but with the levels of control, authority, mastery, and authorship that students are enabled to exercise. Thus, as this book shows, even field trips may deprive students of science authenticity on outdoor activities and even classroom-based science may provide opportunities for doing science in an authentic manner, that is, with high levels of control over the learning environment, authority, master, and authorship. Ultimately, our understanding of authenticity emphasizes its heterogeneous nature, which we propose to think in terms of a different ontology, an ontology of difference, which takes mixtures, heterogeneity, and hybridity as its starting point rather than as poor derivatives of self-same, pure entities including science, scientific concepts, and scientific practice. In Authentic Science Revisited, the authors offer a refreshing new approach to theorizing, thinking, and doing authentic science.

Scott D. Robinson

A Contemporary Autobiography of a Science Educator reminds readers that they teach who they are, and understanding who they are is fundamental for meaningful communication and effective classroom instruction. The book is for science educators, teacher educators, and others who wish to examine their own personal and professional identities in the social and cultural contexts in which their lives are embedded. Just as teaching can be viewed as relationship with others, this contemporary autobiography is situated on the significance of relationship with self. As a contemporary autobiography, the narrative reveals the author’s subjective truths while digging deeply into psychosocial motives of power and intimacy. The author reflects on his personal choices and career decisions that led him into and out of high school science teaching. The book contains stories and reflections from summer work camp experiences, undergraduate college days, teacher preparation episodes, and high school science teaching. Story themes are diversity and leadership, group identity and motivation, urban teaching and teacher preparation, and high school science teaching. These themes evolve out of nuclear episodes of the author’s storied life that brings present day understanding and meaning from past actions and interactions. This kind of critical introspection may hold special relevance for teachers, teacher educators, and others who wish to make their own identities salient and relevant to their own needs and interests as well as the needs and interests of students, teacher candidates, and clients whom they serve.

Disrupting Privilige, Identity, and Meaning

A Reflective Dance of Environmental Education

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Alison L. Neilson

This narrative about the research journey explores the motivation to study practices of environmental education and the privilege that supports the authors ability to do so. It is about the process of dislodging individual privilege in environmental education research and being part of a community of practice. It is written to invite participation in reciprocal learning/teaching about and knowledge construction of environmental education as collaborative reflexive practice.

Environmental Education

Identity, Politics and Citizenship

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Edited by Edgar González-Gaudiano and Michael A. Peters

In Environmental Education: Identity, Politics and Citizenship the editors endeavor to present views of environmental educators that focus on issues of identity and subjectivity, and how 'narrated lives’ relate to questions of learning, education, politics, justice, and citizenship. What is distinctive about this collection is that it highlights the views of Latin American scholars alongside those of scholars from Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, and U. S. The result is a philosophically nuanced reading of the complexities of environmental education that begins to reshape the landscape in terms of ethics, ontology, epistemology, and politics. The collection bears the stamp of the location of its contributors and strongly reflects an activist, qualitative, and ethnographic orientation that emphasizes the ground for action, the identity of environmental actors, and the contribution that education in all its forms can make to sustainability and the cause of the environment. At the same time, contributors go beyond simple slogans and ideologies to question the accepted truths of this rapidly emerging field.
Cover picture: Edgar González-Gaudiano: Siem Reap, Cambodia, December 2007.

Researching Technology Education

Methods and Techniques

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Edited by Howard Middleton

This third volume in the International Technology Education Series provides insights into developments in technology education research in terms of methods and techniques. The importance of the book is that it highlights the uniqueness of the area of technology education in terms of content, and learning and teaching processes, and the need to provide methods and techniques to capture this uniqueness when undertaking research. The book comprises research methods and techniques being used by a range of current researchers. Each chapter includes details of the method or technique, but does so in terms of a project where it was used. This provides important contextual material that will help researchers when developing research projects. The book contains research methods and techniques that are new in general as well as ones new to technology education and ones that are variations to existing methods and techniques to make them suitable for use in technology education research.

Series:

Edited by Yew-Jin Lee and Aik-Ling Tan

This book is a compilation of papers from the inaugural International Science Education Conference held at the National Institute of Education (Singapore). The title, Science Education at the Nexus of Theory and Practice, reflects a pressing yet ongoing concern worldwide to integrate theory and practice in science education and the reader will find something of interest to both science education practitioners and researchers. The editors have decided to engage in (written) dialogue before each of the three sections to enrich the experience. Divided into three key sections: (A) Concepts, conceptual change, and science learning; (B) science teacher development and learning; and (C) access to science, accessible science, the 19 chapters will engender food for thought, and in all likelihood, transform classroom practices. All the contributors here provide important insights into the diverse education systems, cultural backgrounds, and societal norms through which science education can be realized.

Teaching Scientific Inquiry

Recommendations for Research and Implementation

Edited by Richard A. Duschl and Richard E. Grandy

What are scientific inquiry practices like today? How should schools approach inquiry in science education? Teaching Science Inquiry presents the scholarly papers and practical conversations that emerged from the exchanges at a two-day conference of distinctive North American ‘science studies’ and ‘learning science’scholars. The conference goal: forge consensus views about images of inquiry that could inform teaching science through inquiry. The conference outcomes: recommendations for “Enhanced Scientific Method”, “Extended Immersion Units of Instruction”, and “Teacher Professional Development Models”. The edited volume will appeal to individuals interested in science learning as well as the design of learning environments. Scholars, policy makers, teacher educators and teachers will find this volume’s recommendations provocative and insightful. Twentieth century scientific advances with new tools, technologies, and theories have changed what it means to do science, to engage in scientific inquiry and to describe science as a way of knowing. Advances in ‘science studies’ disciplines are updating views about the nature of scientific inquiry. Advances in the cognitive and ‘learning sciences’ are altering understandings about knowledge acquisition, meaning making, and conditions for school learning. The conference papers, commentaries and panel reflections advance novel views about both children’s learning and the nature of science.

Towards Scientific Literacy

A Teachers' Guide to the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science

Derek Hodson

This book is a guide for teachers, student teachers, teacher educators, science education researchers and curriculum developers who wish to get to grips with the vast and complex literature encompassing the history of science, philosophy of science and sociology of science (HPS). A number of books cover essentially the same ground, but what makes this book unique is that it is written from the perspective of science education. The author’s purpose is twofold. First, to identify, clarify and critique elements in the HPS literature that are of key importance in developing students’scientific and technological literacy, as defined in the opening chapter of the book. Second, to enhance teachers’ capacity to build and present curricula that afford a much higher profile to HPS than has been traditional. The significance of the book can be judged from the prominence given to nature of science understanding in much recent international debate and writing in science education and in the plethora of influential reports on science and technology education published around the world that identify HPS knowledge and understanding as central components of 21st century science education.

Zakia Belhachmi

From a rationale of multiculturalism and a based on systemic approach grounded in the Arab-Islamic tradition, this book integrates history, education, science, and feminism to understand the implications of culture in social change, cultural identity, and cultural exchange. Dr. Belhachmi’s praxis maintains the relationship between socio-political movements, and their corollary scientific movements to explain women’s role in social change of the Arab-Islamic world; thus linking the region’s past and the present in a historical continuum. In one masterful move, she immediately engages into a discovery -journey of the 13 century old Arab-Islamic socio-cultural and intellectual history; thus exploring the independent Arab-Islamic Worldview of development, modernism, science, education, and discusses the corollary socio-political and reform movements that integrated women in the region’s governance over time. Thus, she not only highlights women’s involvement in social change as a recurrent cyclical phenomenon in the region, but also chronicles the women-led independent 120 years of Arab-Islamic feminist science.
Above all, Dr. Belhachmi offers an innovative operational three-levelled model of analysis of education and feminist practice that reconciles particularism and universalism, and yields to systemic analyses of women in education cross-culturally. In doing so, the book shifts focus from the “woman’s question” into the more radical issues of “women’s science” in the Arab-Islamic culture; illustrating with the work of al-Sa'dawi (Egypt) and Mernissi (Morocco). As such this study is both a groundbreaking epistemological study on the role Arab-Muslim women and social change over time, and an essential textbook on women in contemporary Arab-Islamic education, and social sciences.
In a tour de force, Dr. Belhachmi reclaims Arab-Islamic feminist scientific legacy as organic to the region’s institutional memory and its collective cultural reference, while restoring to Arab-Muslim women feminists; including herself, their epistemic space within the contemporary multi-discursive practice/space of international feminism.; thus offering us a timely pioneering book on Arab-Islamic feminist epistemology. Equally, she provides us with a new scientific framework for self-representation and cultural exchange much needed both in international education and “a new feminist international order.”
In brief, this is an original scholarly work that provides us with creative empowerment methods, qualitative methodologies and holistic conceptual tools; thus enabling us to re-think our “rapport to knowledge” and the place of knowledge itself and how its related research strategies can move us beyond the pitfalls of cultural relativism and scientism. As such, this is an invaluable addition to the literature on the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that will benefit the layman tremendously; and a must reference for specialists and students alike.