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This book arises from the author’s experience of the South African science curriculum development and teaching since 1994, exploring definitions of science and approaches to science education appropriate to a newly liberated developing country. Each of the 50 chapters is borne out of Cliff Malcolm’s close relationships with communities in SA where he obtained deep insights into their attitudes to science teaching and learning, providing him with an empirical basis to challenge tertiary institutions to transform their curriculum offerings to embrace the culture and world views of African students. The author makes a compelling case for the evolution of relevant science teaching and learning that provide ‘capital’ for indigenous knowledges. The book has relevance also to first world countries, because the social and educational problems facing South Africa, though starker here, are present in all countries.
The book addresses, among others, the nature of scientific knowledge and knowledge production; how scientific knowledge can be accessed and represented; what counts as legitimate scientific knowledge in the South African context of colonization, liberation, inequity and African belief systems. The book extends the debates on “African” Science, and offers ways of talking and writing about science that reframe it, acknowledging problematics and pluralism, offering ways of bringing Western and African thought together.
Using a richly descriptive novelistic style, the author sketches vivid portraits of his research sites, participants and experiences. His vignettes are embedded in deep theoretical insights, lending gravity to the development discourse in science education, providing a coherent language for the transformational agendas of science educators committed to the project of social justice through a relevant science.
Designing Experiences for All Students
Few research-based resources make engagement in engineering education reform and research practical for current and future educators. Yet, engineering educators are under immense pressure to address a wide variety of educational goals that extend well beyond the traditional student learning of engineering science and design. The now familiar ABET Criterion 3 a though k has placed the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of every engineering faculty member to ensure that our graduates have abilities in the areas of problem solving in complex engineering settings, teaming and communication and understandings in the areas of ethics, global and societal impact, and contemporary issues. Engineering educators must also concern themselves with recruitment and retention of a diverse student population. Creating learning experiences and environments that encourage and support the success of all students is a priority for engineering education reform.
This book is primarily being written for current and future engineering educators and researchers. The focus is on the design, development, implementation, and study of a special category of open-ended problems—the model-eliciting activity. These are realistic problems with engineering content and contexts designed to tap the strengths of all students while providing hooks to address simultaneously other educational goals. As problem solving is at the heart of engineering education and practice, it is a theme of wide appeal to engineering educators. The aims of this book are to (1) provide engineering faculty with practical tools for creating, implementing, and assessing the use of open-ended problems that meet a variety of educational goals, (2) facilitate future collaborations between engineering and education, (3) forward engineering education as a scholarly discipline by providing a resource with which to inform and teach future educators and researchers.
The book describes how incorporating mathematical modeling activities and projects, that are designed to reflect authentic engineering experience, into engineering classes has the potential to enhance and tap the diverse strengths of students who come from a variety of backgrounds. Based on the experience of a cadre of engineering and education professors who were at Purdue University during a major curriculum reform effort, this book provides a case study of the Purdue experience, which in part launched the historical beginning of the Department of Engineering Education, the first program in the United States. The reader will be provided with critical activities and tools designed during the project, and the book will be written in a way to help the reader adapt the work to their own situations.
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The NSF-funded Small Group Mathematical Modeling for Improved Gender Equity (SGMM) Project featured activities that require students to work in small technical teams to design mathematical models in response to engineering-related problems. Students produce a product for a specified client who communicates an explicitly stated need. Because the activities are designed such that the mathematical model is the answer/product, students’ mathematical thinking is revealed, providing data for formative and evaluative assessment of the curriculum innovation. The activities and the data derived from the use of the activities acted as a seeds for system reform, which resulted in changes in practice, perspectives and beliefs on the parts of engineering and education professors, and graduate researcher assistants.
The curriculum reform was initiated and studied at Purdue University between 2001 and 2005, and has involved class sizes ranging from 30 to 1400. Currently all first-year engineering students at Purdue and selected second- and third-year engineering students complete these activities in small technical teams, providing opportunities for all students to engage in authentic engineering content from day one of their educational career at Purdue. The use of meaningful problem-solving experiences, realistic engineering contexts, and small group work taps the strengths that women and minorities bring to engineering, while also providing a sound educational experience for all students that address the intent of ABET Education Criteria 2000.
Design research methodology was the theoretical frame used for studying, revising, and improving the educational innovation. The methodology is similar to design research used by research engineers, involving iterative cycles of testing and revising various aspects of the innovation. The findings indicate that students (especially women and other underrepresented groups) perceive the modeling work as interesting and motivating, and that the innovation is likely to be maintained at Purdue long beyond the life of the project. In particular, the cadre of faculty and graduate students involved in the project have learned to design the activities that adhere to a set of principles, have developed a system for gathering formative information that continues to feedback into the system for the purpose of continued improvement, have advanced in their understanding of engineering education, and many of the graduate students have moved on to university positions bringing the ideas along with them to their new environments.
The book includes three resources for the reader. The first is a theoretical framework from which to consider engineering education as moving away from “skills first, then problem solving” to “skills through problem solving with authentic engineering problems”, along with research findings that provide an empirically-based vision of this type of reform (consistent with ABET EC 2000). The second type of resource includes tools and descriptions of their use in the Purdue context. The sample tools include modeling activities, well-described implementation support systems (e. g., Internet-based assignments), and tools for gathering information (e. g., survey items, interview protocol) that can be readily adapted to the reader’s own programmatic situation. As a third resource, the reference list includes readings that span engineering education to educational research that will be useful as others pursue reading and research in the multi-disciplinary field of engineering education.
Innovative Strategies for Effecting Change in Urban School Contexts
This timely edited volume examines the education of children and youth in urban settings and offers compelling alternatives for successfully engaging them in school learning. Urban schools serve a large proportion of students who are poor, of color, and speakers of languages other than English.
The multiple faces of agency: Innovative strategies for effecting change in urban school contexts is a new and significant addition to the literature in urban education. The editor of the book and contributing scholars are to be commended for assembling such an exciting collection of innovative research for publication. The volume’s central message - the power of human agency - may help transform teaching and learning in urban schools. If this happens, urban school children and youth, who deserve better than they have received to date, stand to benefit the most from this work.
A Relativist Epistemic Approach to Science Education
This book addresses the topic of science education, from the viewpoint of the theory of radical constructivism. It takes a closer look at the "image of science" that is projected, in the presentation of it to students and to the general public. This leads into a broad discussion of the notions of learning and knowing, specifically referring to issues of epistemology (the nature of scientific knowledge) and ontology (what science can tell us about the world), and the implications of these issues for science education. In particular, a detailed analysis is given of the dichotomy of relativism vs. realism, and its consequences for the concept of truth in science.
This third volume in the International Technology Education Series provides insights into developments in technology education research in terms of methods and techniques. The importance of the book is that it highlights the uniqueness of the area of technology education in terms of content, and learning and teaching processes, and the need to provide methods and techniques to capture this uniqueness when undertaking research. The book comprises research methods and techniques being used by a range of current researchers. Each chapter includes details of the method or technique, but does so in terms of a project where it was used. This provides important contextual material that will help researchers when developing research projects. The book contains research methods and techniques that are new in general as well as ones new to technology education and ones that are variations to existing methods and techniques to make them suitable for use in technology education research.
Editors: Yew-Jin Lee and Aik-Ling Tan
This book is a compilation of papers from the inaugural International Science Education Conference held at the National Institute of Education (Singapore). The title, Science Education at the Nexus of Theory and Practice, reflects a pressing yet ongoing concern worldwide to integrate theory and practice in science education and the reader will find something of interest to both science education practitioners and researchers. The editors have decided to engage in (written) dialogue before each of the three sections to enrich the experience. Divided into three key sections: (A) Concepts, conceptual change, and science learning; (B) science teacher development and learning; and (C) access to science, accessible science, the 19 chapters will engender food for thought, and in all likelihood, transform classroom practices. All the contributors here provide important insights into the diverse education systems, cultural backgrounds, and societal norms through which science education can be realized.
An International Examination of the Influence of Context on Science Curricula Development and Implementation
This book presents an international perspective of the influence of educational context on science education. The focus is on the interactions between curriculum development and implementation, particularly in non-Western and non-English-speaking contexts (i.e., outside the UK, USA, Australia, NZ, etc. ). An important and distinguishing feature of the book is that it draws upon the experiences and research from local experts from an extremely diverse cohort across the world (26 countries in total). The book addresses topics such as: curriculum development; research or evaluation of an implemented curriculum; discussion of pressures driving curriculum reform or implementation of new curricula (e. g., technology or environmental education); the influence of political, cultural, societal or religious mores on education; governmental or ministerial drives for curriculum reform; economic or other pressures driving curriculum reform; the influence of external assessment regimes on curriculum; and so on.
A Case for the Science Writing Heuristic
Editor: Brian M. Hand
Science Inquiry, Argument and Language describes research that has focused on addressing the issue of embedding language practices within science inquiry through the use of the Science Writing Heuristic approach. In recent years much attention has been given to two areas of science education, scientific argumentation and science literacy. The research into scientific argument have adopted different orientations with some focusing on science argument as separate to normal teaching practices, that is, teaching students about science argument prior to using it in the classroom context; while others have focused on embedding science argument as a critical component of the inquiry process.
The current emphasis on science literacy has emerged because of greater understanding of the role of language in doing and reporting on science. Science is not viewed as being separate from language, and thus there is emerging research emphasis on how best to improving science teaching and learning through a language perspective. Again the research orientations are parallel to the research on scientific argumentation in that the focus is generally between instruction separate to practice as opposed to embedding language practices within the science classroom context.
Legacies for Social Change
From a rationale of multiculturalism and a based on systemic approach grounded in the Arab-Islamic tradition, this book integrates history, education, science, and feminism to understand the implications of culture in social change, cultural identity, and cultural exchange. Dr. Belhachmi’s praxis maintains the relationship between socio-political movements, and their corollary scientific movements to explain women’s role in social change of the Arab-Islamic world; thus linking the region’s past and the present in a historical continuum. In one masterful move, she immediately engages into a discovery -journey of the 13 century old Arab-Islamic socio-cultural and intellectual history; thus exploring the independent Arab-Islamic Worldview of development, modernism, science, education, and discusses the corollary socio-political and reform movements that integrated women in the region’s governance over time. Thus, she not only highlights women’s involvement in social change as a recurrent cyclical phenomenon in the region, but also chronicles the women-led independent 120 years of Arab-Islamic feminist science.
Above all, Dr. Belhachmi offers an innovative operational three-levelled model of analysis of education and feminist practice that reconciles particularism and universalism, and yields to systemic analyses of women in education cross-culturally. In doing so, the book shifts focus from the “woman’s question” into the more radical issues of “women’s science” in the Arab-Islamic culture; illustrating with the work of al-Sa'dawi (Egypt) and Mernissi (Morocco). As such this study is both a groundbreaking epistemological study on the role Arab-Muslim women and social change over time, and an essential textbook on women in contemporary Arab-Islamic education, and social sciences.
In a tour de force, Dr. Belhachmi reclaims Arab-Islamic feminist scientific legacy as organic to the region’s institutional memory and its collective cultural reference, while restoring to Arab-Muslim women feminists; including herself, their epistemic space within the contemporary multi-discursive practice/space of international feminism.; thus offering us a timely pioneering book on Arab-Islamic feminist epistemology. Equally, she provides us with a new scientific framework for self-representation and cultural exchange much needed both in international education and “a new feminist international order.”
In brief, this is an original scholarly work that provides us with creative empowerment methods, qualitative methodologies and holistic conceptual tools; thus enabling us to re-think our “rapport to knowledge” and the place of knowledge itself and how its related research strategies can move us beyond the pitfalls of cultural relativism and scientism. As such, this is an invaluable addition to the literature on the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that will benefit the layman tremendously; and a must reference for specialists and students alike.
The Culture of Science Education: Its History in Person features the auto/biographies of the professional lives of 22 science educators from 11 countries situated in different places along the career ladder within an ongoing narrative of the cultural history of the field. Many contributors began to identify as science educators at about the time Sputnik was launched but others were not yet born. Hence the book articulates the making of a field with its twists and turns that define a career as a scholar in science education.
Through the eyes of the contributing scholars, the development of science education is seen in the United States and its spread to all parts of the world is tracked, leading to a current situation where some universities from overseas are exporting science education to the United States through graduate programs—especially doctoral degrees. Other key issues addressed are the conceptual personae, such as Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, who have shaped the field of science education and how publishing in English in high-impact journals and obtaining external funds from private and governmental agencies have become driving forces in science education.
The Culture of Science Education: Its History in Person was written for science educators with an interest in the history of science education as it is experienced as lived culture. The book is intended as a reference book for scholars and as a text for graduate students involved in science education.