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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.

Enaction

Toward a Zen Mind in Learning and Teaching

Series:

Domenico Masciotra, Wolff-Michael Roth and Denise Morel

This book is addressed to all those in the field of education or related fields, including teachers, teacher-trainers, consultants, and researchers, who are interested in exploring the question, “What does it mean to know, to learn and to teach?” Contrary to popular conceptions, an enactive perspective assumes that knowing and learning are not disembodied operations that take place solely in a person’s head. Rather, they are a function of the whole person who is firmly situated in the world and who acts in the world to transform it, just as she is transformed by it. The dynamic and transformational nature of knowing and learning are reflected in the relationship between the person and her world, a relationship that evolves through acting in and with the world rather than abstracting oneself from it. Knowing develops as a function of the person’s availability, that is, her full involvement and presence in the here- and-now. The aim of education is thus to foster the development of this relationship in a never-ending quest for deep interiority with the world.
Drawing on their experiences as teachers, curriculum developers, students, Zen practitioners, karateka, bicyclists, hobby mathematicians, and gardeners, the authors provide many concrete examples of what it means to think about knowing and learning in terms of enaction and how teachers and curriculum developers who take enactivism seriously might go about designing and implementing lessons.

Analyzing Communication

Praxis of Method

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth and Pei-Ling Hsu

The collection of data sources in the social sciences involves communication in one form or another: between research participants who are observed while communicating or between researcher and researched, who communicate so that the former can learn about/from the latter. How does one analyze communication? In particular, how does one learn to analyze data sources established in and about communication? In response to these questions, the authors provide insights into the "laboratory" of social science research concerned with the analysis of communication in all of its forms, including language, gestures, images, and prosody. Writing in the spirit of Bourdieu, and his recommendations for the transmission of a scientific habitus, the authors allow readers to follow their social science research in the making. Thus, each chapter focuses on a particular topic-identity, motivation, knowing, interaction-and exhibits how to go about researching it: How to set up research projects, how to collect data sources, how to find research questions, and how to do many other practical things to succeed. The authors comment on excerpts from the findings of between 2 and 4 published studies to describe how to write and publish research, how to address audiences, which decisions they have made, which alternative approaches there might exist, and many other useful recommendations for data analysis and paper publishing. In the end, the authors actually follow an expert social scientist as he analyzes data in real time in front of an audience of graduate students. The entire book therefore constitutes something like a journey into the kitchen of an experienced chef who gives advice in the process of cooking.

Series:

Edited by Wolff-Michael Roth and Pei-Ling Hsu

Non scholae sed vitae discimus, we learn for life rather than for school. In this Roman saying, the ultimate reason for school is recognized as being a preparation for life. High school science, too, is a preparation for life, the possible careers students identify, and for defining possible future Selves. In this book, the contributors take one dataset as their object of scholarship informed by discursive psychology, Bakhtin, and poststructural positions to investigate the particulars of the language used in interviews about possible careers conducted both before and after an internship in a university science laboratory. Across this collection, some contributors focus on data driven analyses in which the authors present more macro-perspectives on the use of language in science career talk, whereas others see the data using particular lenses that provide intelligible and fruitful perspectives on what and how students and interviewer talk careers in science. Other contributors propose to transform the database into different representations that allows researchers to single out and demonstrate particular dimensions of discourse. Thus, these contributions roughly fall into three categories that are treated under the sections entitled “Discourse Analyses of Career Talk,” “Discursive Lenses and Foci,” and “Innovations in Theory, Method, and Representation of Career Talk Research.”

Staging & Performing Scientific Concepts

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

Series:

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..

Empowering Students as Self-Directed Learners of Qualitative Research Methods

Transformational Practices for Instructors and Students

Series:

Edited by Janet C. Richards and Wolff-Michael Roth

Qualitative research instructors seek information to help students actively engage in qualitative inquiry. They desire to learn about innovative, constructivist approaches that connect and empower students as a community of learners. Empowering Students as Self-Directed Learners of Qualitative Research Methods meets these needs with practices and approaches instructors may use to position students as active, empowered, self-directed learners who learn to do qualitative research by doing qualitative research.

Students will find this book useful because it includes authentic student work, student reflections, factual classroom scenarios depicting professors guiding students as they devise research questions and determine the qualitative genre to best answer those questions as well as a chapter that includes a checklist to help students plan, revise, and edit the academic writing critical for communicating qualitative research.

The book blends the thoughts of international scholars with the voices of students of qualitative research methods who participated in the transformative practices described in the book. The collective ideas meet the instructional, cultural, and psychological needs of diverse learners, including students from various disciplines, exceptionally able students, those with creative and artistic aptitudes, those from marginalized populations, English language learners, and those who struggle to master qualitative research methods.

Contributors are: Christy Bebeau, Alisha Braun, Franz Breuer, Suzanne Franco, Anna Gonzalez-Pliss, Steven Haberlin, Alfredo Jornet, Yew Jin Lee, Erin Lunday, Janet Richards, Wolff-Michael Roth, Kia Sarnoff, Margrit Schreier, and William Thomas.

Authentic Science Revisited

In Praise of Diversity, Heterogeneity, Hybridity

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth, Michiel van Eijck, Giuliano Reis and Pei-Ling Hsu

Since its appearance in 1995, Authentic School Science has been a resource for many teachers and schools to rethink and change what they are doing in and with their science classrooms. As others were trying to implement the kinds of learning environments that we had described, our own thinking and teaching praxis changed in part because of our dissatisfaction with our own understanding. Over the years, we have piloted ever-new ways of organizing science lessons to figure out what works and how both successful and not-so-successful ways of doing science education should be theorized. In this period, we developed a commitment to cultural-historical activity theory, which does not dichotomize individual and collective, social and material, embodied and cultural forms of knowing, and so on. It turns out now that the problem does not lie with the level of agreement between school science and laboratory science but with the levels of control, authority, mastery, and authorship that students are enabled to exercise. Thus, as this book shows, even field trips may deprive students of science authenticity on outdoor activities and even classroom-based science may provide opportunities for doing science in an authentic manner, that is, with high levels of control over the learning environment, authority, master, and authorship. Ultimately, our understanding of authenticity emphasizes its heterogeneous nature, which we propose to think in terms of a different ontology, an ontology of difference, which takes mixtures, heterogeneity, and hybridity as its starting point rather than as poor derivatives of self-same, pure entities including science, scientific concepts, and scientific practice. In Authentic Science Revisited, the authors offer a refreshing new approach to theorizing, thinking, and doing authentic science.