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Stability and Change in Science Education -- Meeting Basic Learning Needs

Homeostasis and Novelty in Teaching and Learning

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Edited by Phyllis Katz and Lucy Avraamidou

In this book the editors consider the resistance to change among teachers and learners despite all the evidence that science participation brings benefits for both individuals and nations. Beginning with biology, Stability and Change in Science Education: Meeting Basic Learning Needs explores this balance in teaching and learning science. The authors reflect upon this equilibrium as they each present their work and its contribution.

The book provides a wide range of examples using the change/stability lens. Authors from the Netherlands, Israel, Spain, Canada and the USA discuss how they observe and consider both homeostasis and novelty in theory, projects and other work. The book contains examples from science educators in schools and in other science rich settings.

Contributors are: Lucy Avraamidou, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Michelle Crowl, Marilynne Eichinger, Lars Guenther, Maria Heras, Phyllis Katz, Joy Kubarek, Lucy R. McClain, Patricia Patrick, Wolff-Michael Roth, Isabel Ruiz-Mallen, Lara Smetana, Hani Swirski, Heather Toomey Zimmerman, and Bart Van de Laar.
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Edited by Tasos Barkatsas, Nicky Carr and Grant Cooper

The second decade of the 21st century has seen governments and industry globally intensify their focus on the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as a vehicle for future economic prosperity. Economic opportunities for new industries that are emerging from technological advances, such as those emerging from the field of artificial intelligence also require greater capabilities in science, mathematics, engineering and technologies. In response to such opportunities and challenges, government policies that position STEM as a critical driver of economic prosperity have burgeoned in recent years. Common to all these policies are consistent messages that STEM related industries are the key to future international competitiveness, productivity and economic prosperity.
This book presents a contemporary focus on significant issues in STEM teaching, learning and research that are valuable in preparing students for a digital 21st century. The book chapters cover a wide spectrum of issues and topics using a wealth of research methodologies and methods ranging from STEM definitions to virtual reality in the classroom; multiplicative thinking; STEM in pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education, opportunities and obstacles in STEM; inquiry-based learning in statistics; values in STEM education and building academic leadership in STEM.
The book is an important representation of some of the work currently being done by research-active academics. It will appeal to academics, researchers, teacher educators, educational administrators, teachers and anyone interested in contemporary STEM Education related research in a rapidly changing globally interconnected world.

Contributors are: Natalie Banks, Anastasios (Tasos) Barkatsas, Amanda Berry, Lisa Borgerding, Nicky Carr, Io Keong Cheong, Grant Cooper, Jan van Driel, Jennifer Earle, Susan Fraser, Noleine Fitzallen, Tricia Forrester, Helen Georgiou, Andrew Gilbert, Ineke Henze, Linda Hobbs, Sarah Howard, Sylvia Sao Leng Ieong, Chunlian Jiang, Kathy Jordan, Belinda Kennedy, Zsolt Lavicza, Tricia Mclaughlin, Wendy Nielsen, Shalveena Prasad, Theodosia Prodromou, Wee Tiong Seah, Dianne Siemon, Li Ping Thong, Tessa E. Vossen and Marc J. de Vries.
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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.
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Without a Margin for Error

Urban Immigrant English Language Learners in STEM

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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.

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Edited by Lynn A. Bryan and Kenneth Tobin

Critical Issues and Bold Visions for Science Education contains 16 chapters written by 32 authors from 11 countries. The book is intended for a broad audience of teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and policymakers. Interesting perspectives, challenging problems, and fresh solutions grounded in cutting edge theory and research are presented, interrogated, elaborated and, while retaining complexity, offer transformative visions within a context of political tensions, historical legacies, and grand challenges associated with Anthropocene (e.g., sustainability, climate change, mass extinctions).

Within overarching sociocultural frameworks, authors address diverse critical issues using rich theoretical frameworks and methodologies suited to research today and a necessity to make a difference while ensuring that all participants benefit from research and high standards of ethical conduct. The focus of education is broad, encompassing teaching, learning and curriculum in pre-k-12 schools, museums and other informal institutions, community gardens, and cheeseworld. Teaching and learning are considered for a wide range of ages, languages, and nationalities. An important stance that permeates the book is that research is an activity from which all participants learn, benefit, and transform personal and community practices. Transformation is an integral part of research in science education.

Contributors are: Jennifer Adams, Arnau Amat, Lucy Avraamidou, Marcília Elis Barcellos, Alberto Bellocchi, Mitch Bleier, Lynn A. Bryan, Helen Douglass, Colin Hennessy Elliott, Alejandro J. Gallard Martínez, Elisabeth Gonçalves de Souza, Da Yeon Kang, Shakhnoza Kayumova, Shruti Krishnamoorthy, Ralph Levinson, Sonya N. Martin, Jordan McKenzie, Kathy Mills, Catherine Milne, Ashley Morton, Masakata Ogawa, Rebecca Olson, Roger Patulny, Chantal Pouliot, Leah D. Pride, Anton Puvirajah, S. Lizette Ramos de Robles, Kathryn Scantlebury, Glauco S. F. da Silva, Michael Tan, Kenneth Tobin, and Geeta Verma.
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Sharon Fraser, Jennifer Earle and Noleine Fitzallen

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In Australia, a National stem School Education Strategy provides guidance for a whole school approach to stem, going so far as to suggest that that new teaching approaches be implemented and evaluated, and that stem be prioritised in teacher professional learning. In recent years, some Australian teachers/schools have enacted stem pedagogies, in the face of a curriculum that remains focussed on the siloed, traditional disciplines of science and mathematics, and more recently digital technologies (implicitly incorporating engineering) but a more consistent and equitable approach is needed. This chapter synthesises what is known about stem as it pertains to primary and secondary teacher practice, leadership in education, and enactment of the Australian curriculum; and summarises the implications for teacher education and professional practice in the future.

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Chunlian Jiang, Wee Tiong Seah, Tasos Barkatsas, Sao Ieong Leng Sylvia and Io Keong Cheong

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Values are of paramount importance in our society and strengthening values in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (stem) education has the potential to weave an interactive pattern between stem and various societal structures so that these are continuously and critically examined. It could be argued that what students value in their mathematics learning steer their decisions and actions throughout the learning process. In this context, the ‘What I Find Important’ (WIFI) Study was designed to identify what students value in mathematics learning. Survey data collected from 612 Grade 8 students were analysed by means of Principal Components Analysis (PCA), showing that Macau students value achievement; relevance; practice; technology; communication and development. In this chapter we analyse and interpret these values in the cultural context of Macau. Differences between Macau students and their peers in the other three greater China regions (i.e., The Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) are also discussed.

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Kathy Jordan

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A stem discourse is emerging in Australian national and state school education policies, as governments seek to develop a vision and road map for the future. This official discourse argues in support of a national stem enterprise, so that Australia’s economic growth and way of life will be maintained. Within this discourse, schools are framed as important to increasing the participation and performance of students in stem, and to building a highly-skilled stem workforce. This chapter analyses several recent national and state school education policies to gain greater understanding of this positioning.

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Grant Cooper and Nicky Carr

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The aim of this paper is to examine pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) perceptions of stem education, including their conceptualisations and psychosocial factors associated with teaching it. Methods used to in this study to elicit PSTs’ perceptions included surveys, online responses and drawings. PSTs in this sample commonly conceptualised stem education as involving an integrated approach, placing an emphasis on the relationships between disciplines. PSTs also frequently discussed the importance of developing students’ generic skills, using problem-based learning and inquiry-related pedagogies. Some participants positioned stem education as a way of promoting workforce skills and dispositions in their future students. PSTs generally reported positive attitudes to teaching stem education. They also reported a number of normative influences to teach stem, however there appeared to be limited opportunities to develop their teaching capacity on professional experience in schools. Relatively low levels of self-efficacy to teach particular areas of stem were reported by PSTs, particularly engineering and digital technologies. This paper contributes to debates on calls for reform to teacher education programs and discourses about PSTs perceptions of stem education.

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Andrew Gilbert and Lisa Borgerding

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This case study delves into a five-day STEAM camp at a Reggio Emilia inspired pre-school setting where children explored stem content that included a strong Arts component. The results suggest that integrated STEAM activities helped young children construct understandings for the properties of air and facilitated engagement in argumentation surrounding those concepts. Young children demonstrated rich possibilities and potential for learning across STEAM and this project serves as a reminder that our youngest learners are capable of engagement in stem particularly when explored using the Arts for design, testing and communication of their burgeoning ideas.