Mijung Kim and Wolff-Michael Roth

Science educators have come to recognize children’s reasoning and problem solving skills as crucial ingredients of scientific literacy. As a consequence, there has been a concurrent, widespread emphasis on argumentation as a way of developing critical and creative minds. Argumentation has been of increasing interest in science education as a means of actively involving students in science and, thereby, as a means of promoting their learning, reasoning, and problem solving. Many approaches to teaching argumentation place primacy on teaching the structure of the argumentative genre prior to and at the beginning of participating in argumentation. Such an approach, however, is unlikely to succeed because to meaningfully learn the structure (grammar) of argumentation, one already needs to be competent in argumentation. This book offers a different approach to children’s argumentation and reasoning based on dialogical relations, as the origin of internal dialogue (inner speech) and higher psychological functions. In this approach, argumentation first exists as dialogical relation, for participants who are in a dialogical relation with others, and who employ argumentation for the purpose of the dialogical relation. With the multimodality of dialogue, this approach expands argumentation into another level of physicality of thinking, reasoning, and problem solving in classrooms. By using empirical data from elementary classrooms, this book explains how argumentation emerges and develops in and from classroom interactions by focusing on thinking and reasoning through/in relations with others and the learning environment.

Without a Margin for Error

Urban Immigrant English Language Learners in STEM


Jeremy B. Heyman

In Without a Margin for Error, the author chronicles the journeys of young adults in an under-served urban community who are new to the English language into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related) fields from high school through college. He distills lessons, themes, and policy recommendations from the trails blazed by these students toward altering the status quo around college access and STEM success for often-marginalized but highly resilient young adults with much to contribute to their new nation, their communities, and the world. While drawing on a critical ethnography of over three dozen inspiring young adults, seven students are chronicled in greater depth to bring to life crucial conversations for redefining college readiness, access, and success in STEM fields.

Engaging Environmental Education

Learning, Culture and Agency

Edited by Robert B. Stevenson and Justin Dillon

As more attention is devoted to the increasing and complex socio-ecological issues facing the planet, new insights and new ways of thinking are being sought about the learning and agency of children and adults in relation to these environmental concerns. The contributors to this book address the critically important dual challenge of making environmental education engaging while engaging individuals, institutions and communities. Rather than treating students and citizens as passive recipients of other people’s knowledge, the book highlights the importance of engaging learners as active agents in thinking about and constructing a more sustainable and equitable quality of life. The case studies emphasize socio-cultural approaches to environmental learning within and outside formal education in a diverse range of international contexts, including Canada, Denmark, Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The authors not only illuminate the challenges and complexity of engaging youth and adults in meaningful learning, as well as informed action, on complex environmental issues, but also document and offer important insights into promising ways in which these challenges might be addressed. In addition to the many stimulating ideas and strategies for building the learning capacities of individuals and organizations for creating ecologically sustainable communities and societies, further important questions are raised that educators, policymakers and researchers might consider.

Ethics in the Science and Technology Classroom

A New Approach to Teaching and Learning

Edited by Alister Jones, Anne McKim and Michael J. Reiss

This edited book on ethics represents the outcomes of an international collaborative project that examined the role and place of bioethics in science and technology curricula. As science and technology advance, ethical issues increasingly are brought to the fore not only both for scientists and technologists but also for the general public. Science and technology education also reflects this shift and thinking and teaching about ethics in the school curriculum has increased. A greater emphasis is being placed on society’s general scientific and technological literacy and this includes an understanding of socio-scientific issues including ethical decision-making. Although this book has a focus on ethics in the school science and technology curriculum, we believe it will also prove useful for those thinking about ethical decision making in a range of contexts outside of the school sector. The book will prove useful for University lecturers, teachers, curriculum developers and policy makers and those that are involved in science and technology decision making more broadly.

Wayne Melville

The ubiquitous science department occupies an unusual position in most secondary schools. Traditionally, they have been part of the organisational structure of schools, with administrative responsibilities over room allocations, teaching assignments and the management of laboratory equipment. These are important roles, but they only tell half the story. Science teachers are more than members of an organisational structure. They are also members of a science education community which is shaped by their shared understanding of science. The science department as community also possesses a pivotal, if undervalued, role in teacher professional learning.
This book conceptualises professional learning as the engagement of teachers in a virtues-based personal reflection and/or public discourse around the episteme, techne and phronesis in the spaces ‘in-between’ the metaphors of understanding community: meanings, practice, and identity. As such, it speaks to heads of science departments, school administrators and those with an interest in leadership within schools.


Edited by Kathryn Scantlebury, Jane Butler Kahle and Sonya N. Martin

Women in science education are placed in a juxtaposition of gender roles and gendered career roles. Using auto/biography and auto/ethnography, this book examines the challenges and choices of academic women in science education and how those challenges have changed, or remained consistent, since women have become a presence in science education. The book’s contributors span a temporal and spatial continuum and focus on how a variety of issues relate to the paradoxes for academic women in science education. Science is characterized as a masculine endeavor, while teaching is described as “women’s true profession”. Thus, female academics involved in science education are positioned in two paradoxes. First, as teachers they are involved in a feminized profession. However, within that profession, women faculty in science education work in a discipline viewed as a masculine enterprise. Further, these women work in educational institutions that have higher status and prestige than their sisters in elementary, middle or high schools. Second, female professors are “bearded mothers”. Women who have engaged in science education value rationality and logic and assume authority as participants in academe. The use of logic, the acceptance of authority and the assumption of power are masculine gender-stereotyped characteristics. This situation places women in a paradox, because others, including peers and students, expect them to display stereotypic female gender dispositions, such as mothering/nurturing, sacrificing their needs for others, and a commitment to the institution.
The topics include: discussing how their engagement with science impacted their career trajectories and re-direction from science to science education, the relationships of cultural and racial factors on career trajectories, and the dialectical relationship between women’s private|public lives and their agency (collective and individual) in the academy and its enactment within academic fields. The book documents the lives and careers of academic women in science education from the United States, Australia, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, and Europe.


Edited by Wolff-Michael Roth and Pei-Ling Hsu

Non scholae sed vitae discimus, we learn for life rather than for school. In this Roman saying, the ultimate reason for school is recognized as being a preparation for life. High school science, too, is a preparation for life, the possible careers students identify, and for defining possible future Selves. In this book, the contributors take one dataset as their object of scholarship informed by discursive psychology, Bakhtin, and poststructural positions to investigate the particulars of the language used in interviews about possible careers conducted both before and after an internship in a university science laboratory. Across this collection, some contributors focus on data driven analyses in which the authors present more macro-perspectives on the use of language in science career talk, whereas others see the data using particular lenses that provide intelligible and fruitful perspectives on what and how students and interviewer talk careers in science. Other contributors propose to transform the database into different representations that allows researchers to single out and demonstrate particular dimensions of discourse. Thus, these contributions roughly fall into three categories that are treated under the sections entitled “Discourse Analyses of Career Talk,” “Discursive Lenses and Foci,” and “Innovations in Theory, Method, and Representation of Career Talk Research.”

The continuum of secondary science teacher preparation

Knowledge, questions, and research recommendations

Edited by Angelo Collins and Nicole Gillespie

The mission of the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF), to increase the quantity of high quality high school science and mathematics teachers in United States High Schools, calls for a deeper understanding of what it takes to prepare and support successful teachers. On September 21, 2006, KSTF convened a group of 41 individuals with a broad range of perspectives and expertise to address three essential questions with regard to secondary science teacher preparation: What do we know, what do we need to find out, and what research will help us fill in the gaps? Participants were intentionally selected from a diverse cross section of the education community and included teachers, educational researchers, teacher educators, policy specialists and scientists. The 41 participants formed 12 working groups and spent two and a half days addressing the following aspects of teacher preparation:
· recruitment and retention; · models of secondary science teacher preparation; · pedagogic preparation including field-based experiences, methods courses, and preparing teachers for diverse populations; · content preparation in biology, chemistry, Earth science, and physics as well as the nature of science in general; · induction; · mentoring.
Each working group was tasked with synthesizing their discussions and conclusions for the entire group of conference participants and in a written document. This volume represents the final outcome of that conference; 12 chapters that reflect the work of 40 dedicated scholars and practitioners who share a deep commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the preparation of secondary science teachers.


Edited by David B. Zandvliet

Research in environmental education (EE) is a growing field of inquiry and should be seen as respondent to a variety of program developments around the world. These diverse programs are the context for this body of educational research. Diversity in EE research is also compounded when one considers the various cultures, epistemologies and research traditions that may inform the field. This complexity accounts for the range of forms for environmental learning in formal, informal or non-formal contexts.
There is a good deal of evidence that, in order to be more responsive to the needs of diverse populations, program developments around the world are now beginning to reflect the variation in our society. However, the same cannot always be said in terms of research methodologies within mainstream environmental education research. Outside of a few examples, there seems to have been very little in the way of development of research genres aimed at understanding, characterizing and supporting cultural diversity within much of mainstream environmental education. Diversity of method may also be important for the overall quality (or health) of environmental education research. To locate many of the new ideas and approaches in this area, one needs to look outside environmental education, towards general educational research, or to other fields such as environmental justice, indigenous education, science education and health education to name only a few examples.
This volume of original research reports from around the globe begins to richly describe aspects of diversity in environmental education research. It does so in two ways: first, it mirrors the diversity of voices and cultures that are conducting research in this ever-broadening and increasingly global and international field of inquiry, second: it illuminates a potential diversity of research methods by highlighting a range of methodologies salient in other fields which have emerging promise for the practice of research in environmental education.

Environmental Education in Context

An International Perspective on the Development Environmental Education

Edited by Neil Taylor, Michael Littledyke, Chris Eames and Richard K. Coll

This book presents an international perspective on environmental educational and specifically the influence that context has on this aspect of curriculum. The focus is on environmental education both formal and non formal and the factors that impact upon its effectiveness, particularly in non-Western and non-English-speaking contexts (i.e., outside the UK, USA, Australia, NZ, etc. ). An important feature of the book is that it draws upon the experiences and research from local experts from an extremely diverse cohort across the world (25 countries and 2 regions in total). The book addresses topics such as: the development of environmental education in different countries, its implementation, the influence of political, cultural, societal or religious mores; governmental or ministerial drives; economic or other pressures driving curriculum reform; the influence of external assessment regimes on environmental education, and so on.