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STEM of Desire

Queer Theories and Science Education

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Edited by Will Letts and Steve Fifield

STEM of Desire: Queer Theories and Science Education locates, creates, and investigates intersections of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and queer theorizing. Manifold desires—personal, political, cultural—produce and animate STEM education. Queer theories instigate and explore (im)possibilities for knowing and being through desires normal and strange. The provocative original manuscripts in this collection draw on queer theories and allied perspectives to trace entanglements of STEM education, sex, sexuality, gender, and desire and to advance constructive critique, creative world-making, and (com)passionate advocacy. Not just another call for inclusion, this volume turns to what and how STEM education and diverse, desiring subjects might be(come) in relation to each other and the world.

STEM of Desire is the first book-length project on queering STEM education. Eighteen chapters and two poems by 27 contributors consider STEM education in schools and universities, museums and other informal learning environments, and everyday life. Subject areas include physical and life sciences, engineering, mathematics, nursing and medicine, environmental education, early childhood education, teacher education, and education standards. These queering orientations to theory, research, and practice will interest STEM teacher educators, teachers and professors, undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, policy makers, and academic libraries.

Contributors are: Jesse Bazzul, Charlotte Boulay, Francis S. Broadway, Erin A. Cech, Steve Fifield, blake m. r. flessas, Andrew Gilbert, Helene Götschel, Emily M. Gray, Kristin L. Gunckel, Joe E. Heimlich, Tommye Hutson, Kathryn L. Kirchgasler, Michelle L. Knaier, Sheri Leafgren, Will Letts, Anna MacDermut, Michael J. Reiss, Donna M. Riley, Cecilia Rodéhn, Scott Sander, Nicholas Santavicca, James Sheldon, Amy E. Slaton, Stephen Witzig, Timothy D. Zimmerman, and Adrian Zongrone.
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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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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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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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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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Adventures in Cheeseworld

Learning in the World and on the Job

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Mitch Bleier and Ashley N. Morton

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Formal schooling in the United States, particularly when publicly funded, tends toward a one-size fits-all transmission model. Although this “works” for some, the decontextualized nature of classrooms and other formal learning environments often does not provide the type of support that many learners need to produce the kinds of knowledge that afford individual satisfaction and fulfillment, and the achievement of personal and professional goals. In this chapter we document a phenomenological, hermeneutic exploration of one learner’s efforts to forge and follow a self-directed professional education project that employs a dynamic bricolage of approaches to achieve knowledge production and participation in a community of practice. The authors explore the birth and development of a cheese professional – cheese maker, affineur and cheesemonger – as she learns in the world and on the job.

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Chantal Pouliot

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In Quebec City (in the province of Quebec, Canada), a highly publicized environmental controversy emerged in late 2012. Concerning the presence of several heavy metals in the air, this situation involves the bulk transshipment activities of the Port of Québec, located just a few kilometres from the downtown area of Quebec City. In this chapter, I present the main lines of the citizen engagement in the controversy, describe various aspects of my participation in sociopolitical discussions and address the engagement of researchers.

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Kenneth Tobin and Lynn Bryan

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We participate in a metalogue to generate and expand several critical issues in science education. The issues concern science teacher education, science curriculum and its relationships to sociopolitical issues and connections to everyday life, and the role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) in design and conduct of research in science education. Each of these central areas of science education is complex, and we identify and elaborate on our experiences as science educators to probe deeper into an expanding vortex of possibilities. Scientism and crypto-positivism emerge as pervasive referents for practices that maintain the status quo. Whereas our metalogue describes new pathways to consider in a quest for a bold new, relevant and sustainable science education, our purpose is to prepare readers for what is to follow in a book with 16 chapters authored by 31 scholars from 11 countries.

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Creative Critical Inquiry

Transforming Our Understandings of and Engagements in the World

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Jennifer D. Adams

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Twenty-first century scientific problems are complex and have multiple, intersecting etiologies that require us to work across disciplinary boundaries in order to solve them. This warrants creative scientific thinking that will lead to the new knowledge, innovations and social movements that will address existing and emergent issues and move us towards more equitable and sustainable futures. This chapter offers and approach for thinking about creativity in relation to science teaching and learning. Using the example of extreme climate events, I situate this issue in the economic, historical and social contexts that complicate the both the causes and challenges of addressing this issue. This is followed by a discussion of the Crit-Trans heuristic created to expand opportunities for all students, especially racialized and marginalized students, to engage in science in meaningful ways. I then expand on this heuristic by centering creativity in order to broaden how people approach and address scientific challenges from classroom-based tasks to the larger societal issues. I provide an example of a creative engagement with science to offer a starting point from which to build the creative practices necessary in science teaching and learning in order to imagine and advance a better society for all.