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Students in Action

Cogeneratives Dialogues from Secondary to Elementary Schools

Series:

Ian Stith and Wolff-Michael Roth

This book chronicles our work on cogenerative dialoguing in high schools and an elementary school. Cogenerative dialoguing brings together students, teachers, and other relevant stakeholders in the educational enterprise to make sense of some common teaching—learning experiences and issues arising thereof in order to design changes in their environment for the purpose of improving the teaching—learning situation. Our work addresses the overarching question: What will happen when cogenerative dialogue praxis is introduced to an elementary school class? More specifically we explore; the use of cogenerative dialogues as research praxis in terms of some of the ethical issues inherent in classroom research; how cogenerative dialogue praxis can serve as one viable solution for teachers to ethically mediate the various activity systems that constitute a class; the internal contradictions inherent in cogenerative dialogues; the “unfocused” moments during cogenerative dialogues; the long term learning that takes place during the cogenerative dialogues; and finally we explore what we learned from the elementary teacher we worked with. The intended audiences for this book are professionals or acedemics that have used, or are curious about, cogenerative dialogues. Specifically, the unique application of cogenerative dialogues in an elementary school speaks to teachers at that level interested in increasing student participation.

Auto/Biography and Auto/Ethnography

Praxis of Research Method

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth

In a number of academic disciplines, auto/biography and auto/ethnography have become central means of critiquing of the ways in which research represents individuals and their cultures. Auto/biography and auto/ethnography are genres that blend ethnographic interests with life writing and they tell about a culture at the same time they tell about an individual life. This book presents educational researchers, in exemplary form, the possibilities and constraints of both auto/biography and auto/ethnography as methods of doing educational research. The contributors to this volume explore, by means of examples, auto/biography and auto/ethnography as means for critical analysis and as tool kit for the different stakeholders in education. The four thematic sections deal with: a. different possible uses and constraints of the two methods b. understanding teaching and teaching to learn c. institutional critiques d. experiences and trajectories as evidence of a sociology of everyday life. The book was written to be used by upper undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in research design; because of its practical approach, it is highly suitable for those contexts where research methods courses do not exist. The audience also includes professors, who want to have a reference on design and methodology, and those who have not yet had the opportunity to employ a particular method.

Doing Qualitative Research

Praxis of Method

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth

The author takes readers on a journey of a large number of issues in designing actual studies of knowing and learning in the classroom, exploring actual data, and putting readers face to face with problems that he actually or possibly encountered, and what he has done or possibly could have done. The reader subsequently sees the results of data collection in the different analyses provided. The author shows how one writes very different studies using the same data sources but very different theoretical assumptions and analytic technique.
The author brings his publication experience in very different disciplinesinto play to provide readers with way of experiencing research as praxis. The book is organized around six major themes (sections), in the course of which it develops the practical problems an educational researcher might face in a large variety of settings. The book was written to be used by upper undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in research design and professors who want to have a reference on design and methodology.

Doing Teacher-Research

A Handbook for Perplexed Practioners

Series:

Wolff-Michael Roth

There are many teachers who think about doing research in their own classes and schools but who are perplexed by what appears to be involved. This book is intended for these perplexed practitioners, to provide them with an easily understandable narrative about the concrete praxis of doing research in their classrooms or in those of their teacher peers teaching next door or in the same school. The fundamental idea underlying this book is to provide an easily accessible but nevertheless intellectually honest text that allows teachers to increase their agency with respect to better understanding their praxis and the events in their classrooms by means of research.
The author draws on his experience of doing teacher-research while being a high school teacher and department head. Roth uses six concrete research studies that he has conducted alone or with peers to describe the salient parts of any teacher-researcher investigation including: what topic to study; issues of ethics and permissions from students, school, and parents; how and what sources to collect; how to structure resources; how to construct data from the materials; how to derive claims; and how to write a report/research study. Roth chose the case-based approach because cases provide the details necessary for understanding why and how he, as teacher-researcher, has made certain decisions, and what he would do differently today. Using this case-based approach, he allows readers to tie methods choices to situations that they likely are familiar with.

Teaching to Learn

A View from the Field

Series:

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.

Series:

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.