In this book, Wolff-Michael Roth takes a 38-minute conversation in one science classroom as an occasion for analyzing learning and development from a perspective by and large inspired by the works of Mikhail Bakhtin but also influenced by Lev Vygotsky and 20th century European phenomenology and American pragmatism. He throws a new and very different light on the nature and use of language in science classroom, and its transformation. In so doing, he not only exposes the weaknesses of existing theoretical frameworks, including radical and social constructivism, but also exhibits problems in his own previous thinking about knowing and learning in science classrooms. The book particularly addresses issues normally out of the light of sight of science education research, including the material bodily principle, double-voicedness, laughter, coarse language, swearing, the carnal and carnivalistic aspects of life, code-switching, and the role of vernacular in the transformation of scientific language. The author suggests that only a unit of analysis that begins with the fullness of life, singular, unique, and once-occurrent Being, allows an understanding of learning and development, emotion and motivation, that is, knowing science in its relation to the human condition writ large. In this, the book provides responses to questions that conceptual change research, for example, is unable to answer, for example, the learning paradox, the impossibility to eradicate misconceptions, and the resistance of teachers to take a conceptual change position.
How do you intend (to learn, know, see) something that you do not yet know? Given the theory-laden nature of perception, how do you perceive something in a science demonstration that requires knowing the very theory that you are to learn? In this book, the author provides answers to these and other (intractable) problems of learning in science. He uses both first-person, phenomenological methods, critically analyzing his own experiences of learning in unfamiliar situations and third-person, ethnographic methods, critically analyzing the learning of students involved in hands-on investigations concerning motion and static electricity.
Roth continues his longstanding interest in understanding how we learn science and the question why all the changes to science education made over the past five decades have a significant impact of increasing understanding and interest in the subject. Roth articulates in his concluding chapter that the problem lies in part with the theories of learning employed—in the course of his biographical experience, he has appropriated and abandoned numerous theoretical frameworks, including (radical, social) constructivism, because they fell short when it came to understand real-time processes in school science classrooms.
This book, which employs the cognitive phenomenological method described in the recently published Doing Qualitative Research: Praxis of Method (SensePublishers, 2005), has been written for all those who are interested in learning science: undergraduate students preparing for a career in science teaching, graduate students interested in the problems of teaching and learning of science, and faculty members researching and teaching in science education.
In the course of his research career, much of which was based in his own classrooms, Wolff-Michael Roth explored numerous new theoretical frameworks when the old ones proved to be unable to account for the data. In this book, surrounding 11 of his publications spanning 20 years of work, the author tells a story of how science education research concretely realized and singularized itself. That is, rather than taking sole credit for the work that ultimately came to bear his name, Roth develops a historical narrative in which his work came to realize cultural-historical possibilities inherent in the field of science education. But perhaps because some types of this work came to be realized for a first time, Roth’s research also came to be characterized by others in the community as “cutting edge.” This work, therefore presents as much an auto/biographical narrative as it presents a cultural-historical recollection of science education as it unfolded over the past two decades.
Each volume in the 7-volume series The World of Science Education reviews research in a key region of the world. These regions include North America, South and Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Israel, North Africa and the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The focus of this Handbook is on North American (Canada, US) science education and the scholarship that most closely supports this program. The reviews of the research situate what has been accomplished within a given field in North American rather an than international context. The purpose therefore is to articulate and exhibit regional networks and trends that produced specific forms of science education. The thrust lies in identifying the roots of research programs and sketching trajectories—focusing the changing façade of problems and solutions within regional contexts. The approach allows readers review what has been done and accomplished, what is missing, and what might be done next.
The Culture of Science Education: Its History in Person features the auto/biographies of the professional lives of 22 science educators from 11 countries situated in different places along the career ladder within an ongoing narrative of the cultural history of the field. Many contributors began to identify as science educators at about the time Sputnik was launched but others were not yet born. Hence the book articulates the making of a field with its twists and turns that define a career as a scholar in science education.
Through the eyes of the contributing scholars, the development of science education is seen in the United States and its spread to all parts of the world is tracked, leading to a current situation where some universities from overseas are exporting science education to the United States through graduate programs—especially doctoral degrees. Other key issues addressed are the conceptual personae, such as Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, who have shaped the field of science education and how publishing in English in high-impact journals and obtaining external funds from private and governmental agencies have become driving forces in science education.
The Culture of Science Education: Its History in Person was written for science educators with an interest in the history of science education as it is experienced as lived culture. The book is intended as a reference book for scholars and as a text for graduate students involved in science education.
Over the recent years, identity has become one of the most central theoretical concept and topics of scholarship in a number of disciplines, including science education. In this volume, leading science educators articulate in carefully prepared case studies their theoretical perspective on science, learning, and identity. More importantly, the authors of the chapters that in the different parts of the book engage each other in a collaboratively written chapter concerning some of the central issues that have arisen from their individual studies; and in particular they engage each other over the similarities and differences between their approaches.
This book, which features detailed case studies of identity as both resource and outcomes of learners in a variety of settings, will be of interest to anyone concerned with learning science in and out-of schools. The book also caters for readers who have wondered about how identity mediates science learning and, simultaneously, how engagement in science-related tasks and activities mediates the emergence and development of identities. The general tenor of all chapters is a cultural-historical and sociocultural framework that is brought to issues of identity, thereby inherently transcending the individual person and linking identity to cultural possibilities.
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.
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.