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On the Outskirts of Engineering

Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice


Karen L. Tonso

On the Outskirts of Engineering: Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice falls at the intersection of research about women in sites of technical practice and ethnographic studies of learning in communities of practice. Grounded in long-term participation on student teams completing real-world projects for industry and government clients, Outskirts provides an insider look at forms of engineering practice—the cultural production of engineer identity, of the ways that gender is made real in such sites of practice, and of power relations that emerge in response to enculturated practices that organize everyday life. Outskirts contributes to understanding cultural obduracy and the movement of some men and most women to the outskirts of engineering.

Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Environments

The Contribution of Science and Technology Education

Edited by David B. Zandvliet and Darrel L. Fisher

Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Environments? What is enacted when we engage with these ideas? Sustainability is a term increasingly used to describe the broader purpose and goal for education as we move further into the UN declared Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD). This book provides a variety of international perspectives from the traditional fields of science and technology education as teachers (primary through tertiary), teacher educators, and academic researchers engage with this topic. The book provides a collection of new works which will help to describe for educators, what it is we develop, and what it is we sustain when we engage in education for sustainable development (ESD).

Trails in Education

Technologies that Support Navigational Learning


J. Schoonenboom, M. Levene, J. Heller, K. Keenoy and M. Túrcsányi-Szabo

This book is about sequences of learning objects ordered according to time or according to the demands of given learning materials. As users navigate through a learning environment, they follow prescribed trails and create personal trails through their interactions. In digital learning environments, these trails can be stored, evaluated and accessed in a structured manner. Experts from different backgrounds shed light on different aspects of trails and navigational learning. Its chapters contain an investigation on how planning and evaluating trails can support curriculum development, a review of personalised learning and collaborative learning, a model which tackles issues relating to knowledge acquisition and cognitive aspects of trails, and a demonstration of how trails can be visualised. The target audiences are: professionals, practitioners and researchers interested in educational science, e-learning and computer-enhanced learning, computing in education, curriculum studies, instructional design, or computer-supported personalised and collaborative learning.


Anna Traianou

What does it mean to be an expert primary science practitioner? How do primary teachers use science subject knowledge in their practice? This book addresses these questions from a sociocultural perspective, challenging currently influential constructivist accounts. It treats the nature of teacher expertise as a dynamic capacity exemplified by those who are recognised as experts in their local communities of practice. In line with this, it provides an in-depth case study of the perspective and practices of a primary science teacher who is locally and more widely recognised as an expert practitioner. One of the conclusions is that primary science expertise is eclectic in character, requiring the employment, in a flexible way, of a variety of forms of knowledge, views of learning, and teaching strategies in order to deal successfully with the contingent situations faced in the classroom.
The study of expertise-in-action is particularly important at a time when teaching is increasingly configured in terms of competencies and standards. Its implications for the education of primary science practitioners are profound.
Students on education courses, teachers, and researchers will find this book of value for its careful exploration of arguments about the nature of knowledge and learning, and how these are implicated in classroom practice.


Edited by Koshi Dhingra and Sami Hagiwara

In this engaging and well crafted book, Change Agents in Science Education situates the science educator in dynamic social, political, and cultural environments where individuals are engaged in science for change. A wide range of educational contexts are described in the book, including urban school settings in the U. S., slum communities in Mumbai, India, an agricultural community in Benin, Africa, a children’s educational television program production company in the U. S. In each context, powerful examples of how science was enacted to transform ways of thinking and doing are demonstrated. Each contributor shares experiences with science, and the challenges, triumphs and lessons learned which need to be considered and addressed as part of the role of the science educator. Change, it is argued, needs to be facilitated on a variety of levels in order for learning to take place.
Science educators working in a wide range of settings, community-based educational groups, and students and researchers interested in formal and informal science education, will benefit from the perspectives provided in this book.

Changing Teaching, Changing Times

Lessions from a South African Township Science Classroom


Jonathan Clark and Cedric Linder

This is the story of a science teacher and her work in an over-crowded and under-resourced township secondary school in contemporary South Africa. While set firmly in the present, it is also a journey into the past, shedding fresh light on how the legacy of apartheid education continues to have a major influence on teaching and learning in South Africa.
The book has a compelling story line with extensively referenced notes at the end of each chapter. It is intended for a wide audience, which includes general readers, policy makers, teacher-educators, researchers and, most importantly, practitioners in the field. For, while it reminds us of the powerful constraining role that both context and students play in mediating a teacher’s practice, it also attests to the power of individual agency. As such it is a celebration of the actions of an ordinary teacher whose willingness to leave the well-worn paths of familiar practice stands as a beacon of possibility for contexts which seem, so often, to be devoid of hope.


Edited by Marc J. de Vries and Ilja Mottier

This first volume in the International Technology Education Series offers a unique, worldwide collection of national surveys into the developments of Technology Education in the past two decades. For twenty-two countries from five continents the major changes of this school subject are described by experts that have been involved in these changes for many years themselves. The studies deal with national curricula, teacher education programs, educational research into effects of Technology Education, and practical issue at classroom level. After the 15th International Pupils’ Attitude Towards Technology conference which was held in Haarlem in April 2005, a distinguished group of scholars from the area of Technology Education decided that after 20 years it was time to give account of the state of the art in this area. This book should be of interest to students, teachers, researchers and policy-makers who are involved in technology education.

Learning Science

A Singular Plural Perspective


Wolff-Michael Roth

How do you intend (to learn, know, see) something that you do not yet know? Given the theory-laden nature of perception, how do you perceive something in a science demonstration that requires knowing the very theory that you are to learn? In this book, the author provides answers to these and other (intractable) problems of learning in science. He uses both first-person, phenomenological methods, critically analyzing his own experiences of learning in unfamiliar situations and third-person, ethnographic methods, critically analyzing the learning of students involved in hands-on investigations concerning motion and static electricity.
Roth continues his longstanding interest in understanding how we learn science and the question why all the changes to science education made over the past five decades have a significant impact of increasing understanding and interest in the subject. Roth articulates in his concluding chapter that the problem lies in part with the theories of learning employed—in the course of his biographical experience, he has appropriated and abandoned numerous theoretical frameworks, including (radical, social) constructivism, because they fell short when it came to understand real-time processes in school science classrooms.
This book, which employs the cognitive phenomenological method described in the recently published Doing Qualitative Research: Praxis of Method (SensePublishers, 2005), has been written for all those who are interested in learning science: undergraduate students preparing for a career in science teaching, graduate students interested in the problems of teaching and learning of science, and faculty members researching and teaching in science education.


Bev France and John Gilbert

This book incorporates two major themes into a model for communication about biotechnology. The first is that of a communicating community, defined as a relatively coherent social group engaging in communication within itself. As biotechnologists do not constitute a unitary group, this book refers to biotechnology communities. Similarly, the broad notion of ‘the public’ is considered to be inadequate, and the notion of distinct public communities is used. The members of each community are considered to have a view of biotechnology made up of their understandings of the nature of science of biotechnology, understandings of the key concepts and models used in biotechnology, perceptions of the nature of risk, and beliefs and attitudes about biotechnology. The second major theme is that of search space. This is the intersection, in a virtual arena, of the components of the ‘views’ of two communities. Where there are elements that are in common to the two, communication in terms of them is possible. Where there is no commonality, the degrees of understanding reached must be used to construct a mutual understanding that may evolve into an agreement.

Teaching to Learn

A View from the Field


Edited by Kenneth Tobin and Wolff-Michael Roth

A recurrent trope in education is the gap that exists between theory, taught at the university, and praxis, what teachers do in classrooms. How might one bridge this inevitable gap if new teachers are asked to learn (to talk) about teaching rather than to teach? In response to this challenging question, the two authors of this book have developed coteaching and cogenerative dialoguing, two forms of praxis that allow very different stakeholders to teach and subsequently to reflect together about their teaching. The authors have developed these forms of praxis not by theorizing and then implementing them, but by working at the elbow of new and experienced teachers, students, supervisors, and department heads.
Coteaching, which occurs when two or more teachers teach together, supports learning to teach while improving student achievement. Cogenerative dialogues are conversations among all those who have been present in a lesson; they ensure that what was learned while coteaching is beneficial for all coteachers and learners. Tobin and Roth describe the many ways coteaching and cogenerative dialogues are used to improve learning environments—dramatically improving teaching and learning across cultural borders defined by race, ethnicity, gender, and language.
Teaching to Learn is written for science educators and teacher educators along the professional continuum: new and practicing teachers, graduate students, professors, researchers, curriculum developers, evaluation consultants, science supervisors, school administrators, and policy makers. Thick ethnographic descriptions and specific suggestions provide readers access to resources to get started and continue their journeys along a variety of professional trajectories.