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  • Author or Editor: Wolff-Michael Roth x
  • Science Education x
  • Status (Books): Published x

Dialogism

A Bakhtinian Perspective on Science and Learning

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Wolff-Michael Roth

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.

Learning Science

A Singular Plural Perspective

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Wolff-Michael Roth

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.

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Wolff-Michael Roth

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.

What More in/for Science Education

An Ethnomethodological Perspective

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Wolff-Michael Roth

What more is there in and for science education to do in terms of researching science lessons? A lot, the author suggests, if research turns away from studying science education extracting social facts using special methods, which journal articles require to state, to studying the work and methods by means of which participants themselves create their structured world of science lessons. This book presents, with concrete materials from an inquiry-oriented physics course, a way of doing science education research that radically differs from existing approaches. This book articulates this approach for a science education audience, where this approach is by and large unknown, and where the primary literature is often experienced as impenetrable and as requiring years of work to gain entry. Consistent with this different approach, those materials are used that constitute the way in which the reflexive production of social order is observed by the actors (teachers, students) themselves.

Science, Learning, Identity

Sociocultural and Cultural-Historical Perspectives

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Edited by Wolff-Michael Roth and Kenneth Tobin

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.

The Culture of Science Education

Its History in Person

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Edited by Kenneth Tobin and Wolff-Michael Roth

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.

The World of Science Education

Handbook of Research in North America

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Edited by Wolff-Michael Roth and Kenneth Tobin

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.

Auto/Biography and Auto/Ethnography

Praxis of Research Method

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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.

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Wolff-Michael Roth

This book is about language in STEM research and about how it is thought about: as something that somehow refers to something else not directly accessible, often «meaning», «mental representation», or «conception». Using the analyses of real data and analyses of the way certain concepts are used in the scientific literature, such as “meaning,” this book reframes the discussion about «meaning», «mental representation», and «conceptions» consistent with the pragmatic approaches that we have become familiar with through the works of K. Marx, L. S. Vygotsky, M. M. Bakhtin, V. N. Vološinov, L. Wittgenstein, F. Mikhailov, R. Rorty, and J. Derrida, to name but a few. All of these scholars, in one or another way, articulate a critique of a view of language that has been developed in a metaphysical approach from Plato through Kant and modern constructivism; this view of language, which already for Wittgenstein was an outmoded view in the middle of the last century, continuous to be alive today and dominating the way language is thought about and theorized.

Doing Qualitative Research

Praxis of Method

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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.