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Avoiding Simplicity, Confronting Complexity

Advances in Studying and Designing (Computer-Based) Powerful Learning Environments

Edited by Geraldine Clarebout and Jan Ellen

Researchers from all over the world are fascinated by the question on how to design powerful learning environments and how to effectively integrate computers in instruction. Members of the special interest groups 'Instructional Design' and 'Learning and Instruction with Computers’ of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction belong to this group of fascinated researchers. By presenting their research on these questions in this book, these researchers provide empirically based answers, finetune previously suggested solutions, and raise new questions and research paths. The contributions each try to deal with the actual complexity of learning environments, while avoiding naïve simplicity. The book presents an up-to-date overview of current research by experienced researchers from well-known research centers. This book is intended for an audience of educational researchers, instructional designers, and all those fascinated by questions with respect to the design of learning environments and the use of technology.

Staging & Performing Scientific Concepts

Lecturing is Thinking with Hands, Eyes, Body, & Signs

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Lilian Pozzer Ardenghi and Wolff-Michael Roth

In this book, the authors argue that science concepts are more than what lecturers say and write on the board—science concepts cannot be abstracted from the complex performances that take place in the classroom. Through analysis of nonverbal aspects of communication and interaction during science lectures, which take into account the body, how it is placed in and moves across space, its orientation, its movements (gestures), the aspects of the setting it marks and other resources used, the authors show how each one of the resources employed provides different types and amounts of information that need to be taken into consideration all together, as a unit, to mark and re-mark sense so that audiences may remark it. The book also provides examples that show how the integration of multiple resources provides the coherence of the ideological unit, presenting lectures as an integrated performance of knowledge in action. The book is of interest for science educators and learning scientists in general, as well as scholars interested in multimodal analysis of interaction and face-to-face communication..

Teaching and Learning about Science

Language, Theories, Methods, History, Traditions and Values

Derek Hodson

Findings generated by recent research in science education, international debate on the guiding purposes of science education and the nature of scientific and technological literacy, official and semi-official reports on science education (including recommendations from prestigious organizations such as AAAS and UNESCO), and concerns expressed by scientists, environmentalists and engineers about current science education provision and the continuing low levels of scientific attainment among the general population, have led to some radical re-thinking of the nature of the science curriculum. There has been a marked shift of rhetorical emphasis in the direction of considerations of the nature of science, model-based reasoning, inquiry-based learning, scientific argumentation and the use of language-rich learning experiences (reading, writing, talking) to enhance concept acquisition and development. These findings, arguments and pronouncements seem to point very clearly in the direction of regarding science education as a study of scientific practice. This book presents a comprehensive, research-based account of how such a vision could be assembled into a coherent curriculum and presented to students in ways that are meaningful, motivating and successful. The author takes what might be described as an anthropological approach in which scientists are studied as a socially, economically and politically important community of people. This group has its own distinctive language, body of knowledge, investigative methods, history, traditions, norms and values, each of which can be studied explicitly, systematically and reflectively. This particular approach was chosen for the powerful theoretical overview it provides and for its motivational value, especially for students from sociocultural groups currently under-served by science education and under-represented in science.
The book, which is both timely and important, is written for teachers, student teachers, graduate students in education, teacher educators, curriculum developers and those responsible for educational policy. It has the potential to impact very substantially on both pre-service and inservice science teacher education programmes and to shift school science education practice strongly in the direction currently being advocated by prominent science educators.

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Edited by Cliff Malcom and Michael Anthony Samuel

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.

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Edited by Michele Hollingsworth Koomen, Sami Kahn, Christopher L. Atchison and Tiffany A. Wild

Towards Inclusion of All Learners through Science Teacher Education serves as an indispensable resource for teachers and teacher educators wishing to understand how to educate students with exceptionalities in science. This book begins with the voices and stories of the experts: current and former K-12 students with disabilities sharing their experiences in science education classrooms. The voices of students with disabilities are then connected to the work of leading experts in the area of science education for individuals with disabilities in an effort to address the goals of national reform documents by ensuring rigorous science experiences for all students. It is written in a highly accessible and practical manner, making it ideal for all educators including pre-service and in-service teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and curriculum developers.

Erik Jan van Rossum and Rebecca Hamer

The Meaning of Learning and Knowing, co-authored by Erik Jan van Rossum and Rebecca Hamer, brings together empirical studies on epistemology, student thinking, teacher thinking, educational policy and staff development forging a solid and practical foundation for educational innovation. Since the 1980s they developed and published about a six-stage developmental model describing the qualitatively different ways students and teachers view learning and good teaching. A model with far reaching consequences for education, educational innovation and democratic society. Their comprehensive review of research from many disciplines underpins the empirical evidence of over 650 students and teachers. Each of the six worldviews results in a unique way of meaning making. These six Ways of Knowing, or Orders of Consciousness, are characterised by increasing complexity of thinking, with fourth level thinking—or self-authorship—representing the most common espoused goal of higher education. Ample evidence is presented that higher education is not attaining its own espoused goals. One explanation may be that many teachers in higher education have not themselves reached the minimum required way of knowing, preventing them from constructing a developmental path for their students. Van Rossum and Hamer’s epistemological model provides clear signposts on the developmental education highway and has proven its worth as an instrument for curriculum design, measurement of epistemological development and as a tool for staff development.

Scott D. Robinson

A Contemporary Autobiography of a Science Educator reminds readers that they teach who they are, and understanding who they are is fundamental for meaningful communication and effective classroom instruction. The book is for science educators, teacher educators, and others who wish to examine their own personal and professional identities in the social and cultural contexts in which their lives are embedded. Just as teaching can be viewed as relationship with others, this contemporary autobiography is situated on the significance of relationship with self. As a contemporary autobiography, the narrative reveals the author’s subjective truths while digging deeply into psychosocial motives of power and intimacy. The author reflects on his personal choices and career decisions that led him into and out of high school science teaching. The book contains stories and reflections from summer work camp experiences, undergraduate college days, teacher preparation episodes, and high school science teaching. Story themes are diversity and leadership, group identity and motivation, urban teaching and teacher preparation, and high school science teaching. These themes evolve out of nuclear episodes of the author’s storied life that brings present day understanding and meaning from past actions and interactions. This kind of critical introspection may hold special relevance for teachers, teacher educators, and others who wish to make their own identities salient and relevant to their own needs and interests as well as the needs and interests of students, teacher candidates, and clients whom they serve.

Fostering Scientific Habits of Mind

Pedagogical Knowledge and Best Practices in Science Education

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Edited by Issa M. Saleh and Myint Swe Khine

The history of human development records the courageous efforts made by the generation of teacher educators to train the school leaders who are responsible to implement educational policies. They have endured the burden and challenges of the times and refine the pedagogies and education systems with many innovative approaches. As the world faces increasing uncertainties and shift to knowledge economy, education plays a larger role in creating productive persons. Designing and managing learning school organizations that can sustain a competitive advantage in this fast-changing environment demands transformative leaders who would envision building intellectual capital for the future. Many books on teacher education, educational management and leadership exist in the past. But most books do not keep up with the fast-changing educational scene and only a few include future scenarios. This book presents anticipated trends and demands of the new knowledge economy, achieving goals with the use of various tools, generative and collaborative efforts, increasing leadership capability in dynamic and complex contexts, enculturation of cutting edge knowledge for educational advancement and creation of teams that focus learning organizations.
The book brings together prominent and leading teacher educators and researchers from around the world to present their scholarship, theories and practice, case studies, state-of-the- art approaches and future-oriented predictions. This book embodies collective knowledge inquiry and represents professional conversations. The chapters provides information on recent trends and development in teacher education, the important role of educational management and leadership in educational transformations, promising practices for desired outcomes. The book is a critical and specialized resource that describes how transformative leadership can play an important role in achieving excellence in education. The topics are covered in the book are: educational leadership and effective teaching, research in transformational leadership, and professional development and social capital building in schools.

Environmental Education

Identity, Politics and Citizenship

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Edited by Edgar González-Gaudiano and Michael A. Peters

In Environmental Education: Identity, Politics and Citizenship the editors endeavor to present views of environmental educators that focus on issues of identity and subjectivity, and how 'narrated lives’ relate to questions of learning, education, politics, justice, and citizenship. What is distinctive about this collection is that it highlights the views of Latin American scholars alongside those of scholars from Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, and U. S. The result is a philosophically nuanced reading of the complexities of environmental education that begins to reshape the landscape in terms of ethics, ontology, epistemology, and politics. The collection bears the stamp of the location of its contributors and strongly reflects an activist, qualitative, and ethnographic orientation that emphasizes the ground for action, the identity of environmental actors, and the contribution that education in all its forms can make to sustainability and the cause of the environment. At the same time, contributors go beyond simple slogans and ideologies to question the accepted truths of this rapidly emerging field.
Cover picture: Edgar González-Gaudiano: Siem Reap, Cambodia, December 2007.

Changing Teaching, Changing Times

Lessions from a South African Township Science Classroom

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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.