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How should I know?

Preservice Teachers' Images of Knowing (by Heart ) in Mathematics and Science

Series:

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.

Series:

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

Series:

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.

Teaching to Learn

A View from the Field

Series:

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.