Nurturing Praxis

Action Research in Partnerships between School and University in a Nordic Light

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Edited by Karin Rönnerman, Eli Moksnes Furu and Petri Salo

Nurturing Praxis offers a distinctive view of collaborative and action research in educational settings in four Nordic countries; Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Educational action research in Nordic countries is interpreted as being informed by the traditions of Bildung and (folk) enlightenment and thereby emphasizing the importance of collaboration, discussion and dialogue in knowledge creation. It explores the professional development of teachers, especially through school-university partnerships in which university researchers collaborate with teachers in a variety of educational settings in order to bring about change in and better understanding of practice. It presents case studies of professional development in the context educational reform and change, originating from both inside and outside schools, and tackled with or enhanced by collaborative and action research. By analysing the cases in the light of the Nordic traditions of Bildung and (folk) enlightenment, the authors have been able to identify a number of key features of professional development enhanced by collaborative and action research. These features are drawn together in the last chapter, in a comprehensive framework for Nurturing Praxis.

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Tibbi Duboys

Paths to Teaching the Holocaust edited by Tibbi Duboys is an important new book. It offers contributions by childhood, middle and secondary teacher educators from various regions and universities in the continental United States. The array of material is a strength of this unique book. Some contributors write about ways in which they infuse existing courses with Holocaust materials, while others focus on where and when to begin the education of their students with respect to genocide. Curriculum and instruction are examined from the perspective of existing research. Preparing oneself to teach the material and personal teaching style are presented in ways that will be helpful both to new and to experienced teachers and those interested in the kinds of questions embedded in this material.
Educators and others will see how events focused upon in the Holocaust are connected to violations of human rights and social justice committed during the period of National Socialism. Readers are reminded of the approximate nature of knowledge when it is not born of lived experience, and are invited to raise questions about the Holocaust and other genocides.
The varied nature of the chapters offers a platform for engaging in discourse likely to pique the interest of people who have limited experience with the topic, and of those whose knowledge may be rich and of long standing. Teachers often seek to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and will find the References of each writer an invaluable resource. The contents of Paths to Teaching the Holocaust will be useful to educators and others concerned with oppression, human rights and social justice.

Power, Pedagogy and Praxis

Social Justice in the Globalized Classroom

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Edited by Shannon A. Moore and Richard C. Mitchell

The aim of the text is to respond to gaps in an emergent discourse running along minority/majority world fault lines through various perspectives linking globalization, education and human rights. The editors’standpoint allows the consideration of equity in education as the foremost expression of social justice in this era of economic and technological globalization regardless of political or cultural contexts. This project continues the tradition of critical social pedagogy in creating common ground that accesses new approaches to political and classroom-based relations of power and praxis.

Professional Care and Vocation

Cultivating Ethical Sensibilities in Teaching

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Timothy W. Wineberg

This book integrates the traditional understanding of a profession—a calling to selfless service for the public good, through the pursuit of a learned art—with that of vocation—work that offers a deep sense of personal fulfilment, meaning, and identity. Professions are moral endeavours since they require vulnerable individuals to trust in the competence and integrity of someone who professes to care for them. Currently, most versions of professional ethics narrowly focus upon standards of conduct or upon ethical dilemmas. Yet these are rarely compelling enough to change us—they are not morally formative.
This volume takes a different tack to doing ethics. It explicitly targets the moral development of educators. This is crucial because as we develop our sensibilities of perception and qualities of character, we can better interpret practice situations and respond fittingly. Moreover, this approach to ethics seeks to reconceptualize our professional obligation: to embody it in more adequate metaphors, and to revitalize its relational dimension. In this view, our task as educators is to seek out those relational metaphors, images, and narratives of practice which are profound enough to shape our self-perceptions and to fund our moral formation. This book explores five ethical spheres—sacrifice, community, craft, tradition, and moral imagination—and five respective pedagogical images which illuminate the nature of professional care—servant, moral friend, mentor, covenantor, and moral companion. When critically engaged and appropriated, these rich metaphorical images provide clarity, order, and meaning to our perceptions and powerful imperatives for our own moral development.

Students in Action

Cogeneratives Dialogues from Secondary to Elementary Schools

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Ian Stith and Wolff-Michael Roth

This book chronicles our work on cogenerative dialoguing in high schools and an elementary school. Cogenerative dialoguing brings together students, teachers, and other relevant stakeholders in the educational enterprise to make sense of some common teaching—learning experiences and issues arising thereof in order to design changes in their environment for the purpose of improving the teaching—learning situation. Our work addresses the overarching question: What will happen when cogenerative dialogue praxis is introduced to an elementary school class? More specifically we explore; the use of cogenerative dialogues as research praxis in terms of some of the ethical issues inherent in classroom research; how cogenerative dialogue praxis can serve as one viable solution for teachers to ethically mediate the various activity systems that constitute a class; the internal contradictions inherent in cogenerative dialogues; the “unfocused” moments during cogenerative dialogues; the long term learning that takes place during the cogenerative dialogues; and finally we explore what we learned from the elementary teacher we worked with. The intended audiences for this book are professionals or acedemics that have used, or are curious about, cogenerative dialogues. Specifically, the unique application of cogenerative dialogues in an elementary school speaks to teachers at that level interested in increasing student participation.

Edited by Gillian Judson

This book offers a detailed examination of imagination in learning. Teachers working with the ideas of Imaginative Education in their classrooms provide examples that cover multiple curricular areas and span elementary through secondary school contexts. “Imagination” has moved in recent years from being considered some kind of educational frill to a recognized main workhorse of teaching and learning. It is this new perspective that this book celebrates and exemplifies. The book is divided between teachers’ and researchers’ voices, both exploring a range of ways in which the imagination can be used in everyday classrooms to enhance learning and increase the satisfactions of teaching. This book demonstrates how engaging the imagination lies at the core of effective education.

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.

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Edited by Ray Land, Jan H.F. Meyer and Jan Smith

Threshold Concepts within the Disciplines brings together leading writers from various disciplines and national contexts in an important and readable volume for all those concerned with teaching and learning in higher education.
The foundational principle of threshold concepts is that there are, in each discipline, ‘conceptual gateways’ or ‘portals’ that must be negotiated to arrive at important new understandings. In crossing the portal, transformation occurs, both in knowledge and subjectivity. Such transformation involves troublesome knowledge, a key concern for contributors to this book, who identify threshold concepts in their own fields and suggest how to deal with them.
Part One extends and enhances the threshold concept framework, containing chapters that articulate its qualities, its links to other social theories of learning and other traditions in educational research.
Part Two encompasses the disciplinary heart of the book with contributions from a diversity of areas including computing, engineering, biology, design, modern languages, education and economics. In the many empirical case studies educators show how they have used the threshold concept framework to inform and evaluate their teaching contexts. Other chapters emphasise the equally important ‘being and becoming’ dimension of learning.
Part Three suggests pedagogic directions for those at the centre of the education project with contributions focusing on the socialisation of academics and their continuing quest to be effective teachers.
The book will be of interest to disciplinary teachers, educational researchers and educational developers. It also is of relevance to issues in quality assurance and professional accreditation.

Totems and Taboos

Risk and Relevance in Research on Teachers and Teaching

Edited by Jeanne Adèle Kentel and Andrew Short

Totems and Taboos: Risk and Relevance in Research on Teachers and Teaching, is a compilation of selected papers from the 2007 Biennial conference of the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (ISATT), held at Brock University. This volume contains keynote addresses and papers based on thematic presentations delivered at the conference; namely, critically investigative items which have been sacred to systems, institutions, and educational practitioners, in order to inform the theory and practice of teaching and research. While consideration of the native or aboriginal historical tradition of Canada was instrumental in developing a theme dealing with the nature of totems, it was recognized that such a heritage informs research and practice regardless of national borders. The papers included in this book reflect global perspectives on the conference theme and include thinkers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Slovenia, Turkey, and the United States. In addition the writings of seasoned academics and well published authors, the totems of the field so to speak are situated alongside papers from academic newcomers who have broken the taboo of not speaking in the presence of more experienced company.

The central metaphor of this book is the high wire or tightrope journey across Niagara Falls upon which we oscillate between the falsely dichotomous notions of research and teaching. The tension in leaning towards one side or the other is presented as a negotiated process of balancing research and teaching which maintains our progress forward in the field. Overlooking this edgy relationship will cause one to lean too much in one direction and fall into the chasm underneath. Thus the sections of this book are designed to examine educational progress across this high wire while maintaining awareness of the risks taken on this journey. Each paper is relevant to particular phases in this high wire walk and portrays the journeys of the authors within in order to inform the path of others.