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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.

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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.

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.

Towards Scientific Literacy

A Teachers' Guide to the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science

Derek Hodson

This book is a guide for teachers, student teachers, teacher educators, science education researchers and curriculum developers who wish to get to grips with the vast and complex literature encompassing the history of science, philosophy of science and sociology of science (HPS). A number of books cover essentially the same ground, but what makes this book unique is that it is written from the perspective of science education. The author’s purpose is twofold. First, to identify, clarify and critique elements in the HPS literature that are of key importance in developing students’scientific and technological literacy, as defined in the opening chapter of the book. Second, to enhance teachers’ capacity to build and present curricula that afford a much higher profile to HPS than has been traditional. The significance of the book can be judged from the prominence given to nature of science understanding in much recent international debate and writing in science education and in the plethora of influential reports on science and technology education published around the world that identify HPS knowledge and understanding as central components of 21st century science education.

Teaching to Learn

A View from the Field

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Edited by Kenneth Tobin and Wolff-Michael Roth

A recurrent trope in education is the gap that exists between theory, taught at the university, and praxis, what teachers do in classrooms. How might one bridge this inevitable gap if new teachers are asked to learn (to talk) about teaching rather than to teach? In response to this challenging question, the two authors of this book have developed coteaching and cogenerative dialoguing, two forms of praxis that allow very different stakeholders to teach and subsequently to reflect together about their teaching. The authors have developed these forms of praxis not by theorizing and then implementing them, but by working at the elbow of new and experienced teachers, students, supervisors, and department heads.
Coteaching, which occurs when two or more teachers teach together, supports learning to teach while improving student achievement. Cogenerative dialogues are conversations among all those who have been present in a lesson; they ensure that what was learned while coteaching is beneficial for all coteachers and learners. Tobin and Roth describe the many ways coteaching and cogenerative dialogues are used to improve learning environments—dramatically improving teaching and learning across cultural borders defined by race, ethnicity, gender, and language.
Teaching to Learn is written for science educators and teacher educators along the professional continuum: new and practicing teachers, graduate students, professors, researchers, curriculum developers, evaluation consultants, science supervisors, school administrators, and policy makers. Thick ethnographic descriptions and specific suggestions provide readers access to resources to get started and continue their journeys along a variety of professional trajectories.

How should I know?

Preservice Teachers' Images of Knowing (by Heart ) in Mathematics and Science

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Kathleen T. Nolan

Elementary preservice teachers’school experiences of mathematics and science have shaped their images of knowing, including what counts as knowledge and what it means to know (in) mathematics and science. In this book, preservice teachers’ voices challenge the hegemony of official everyday narratives relating to these images.
The book is written as a parody of a physical science textbook on the topic of light, presenting a kaleidoscope of elementary preservice teachers’ narratives of knowing (in) mathematics and science. These narratives are tied together by the metaphorical thread of the properties of light, but also held apart by the tensions and contradictions with/in such a critical epistemological exploration. Through a postmodern lens, the only grand narrative that could be imag(in)ed for this text is one in which the personal lived experience narratives of the participants mingle and interweave to create a sort of kaleidoscope of narratives. With each turn of a kaleidoscope, light’s reflection engenders new patterns and emergent designs. The narratives of this research text highlight patterns of exclusion, gendered messages, binary oppositions, and the particle nature and shadowy texture of knowing (in) mathematics and science. The presentation format of the book emphasizes the reflexive and polyphonic nature of the research design, illustrated through layers of spoken text with/in performative text with/in metaphorical text.
The metaphor of a kaleidoscope is an empowering possibility for a critical narrative written to both engage and provoke the reader into imag(in)ing a critical journey toward possibilities for a different “knowing by heart” in mathematics and science and for appreciating lived experience narratives with/in teacher education.