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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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

Doing Qualitative Research

Praxis of Method


Wolff-Michael Roth

The author takes readers on a journey of a large number of issues in designing actual studies of knowing and learning in the classroom, exploring actual data, and putting readers face to face with problems that he actually or possibly encountered, and what he has done or possibly could have done. The reader subsequently sees the results of data collection in the different analyses provided. The author shows how one writes very different studies using the same data sources but very different theoretical assumptions and analytic technique.
The author brings his publication experience in very different disciplinesinto play to provide readers with way of experiencing research as praxis. The book is organized around six major themes (sections), in the course of which it develops the practical problems an educational researcher might face in a large variety of settings. The book was written to be used by upper undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in research design and professors who want to have a reference on design and methodology.