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Author: Kenneth Tobin

Even though humanity faces grand challenges, including climate change, sustainability of the planet and its resources, and well-being of humans and other species, for the past 60 years science educators have been preoccupied with much the same priorities. Adherence to the tenets of crypto-positivism creates problems for research in the social sciences (e.g., over reliance on statistical analyses leads to oversimplified models that strip away context and are reductive). Hypotheses and associated statistical tests support causal models that rarely predict social conduct or blaze pathways for meaningful transformation. In contrast to the mainstream of research in science education, I advocate a multilogical methodology that embraces incommensurability, polysemia, subjectivity, and polyphonia as a means of preserving the integrity and potential of knowledge systems to generate and maintain disparate perspectives, outcomes, and implications for practice. In such a multilogical model, power discourses such as Western medicine carry no greater weight than complementary knowledge systems that may have been marginalized in a social world in which monosemia is dominant. I describe research methodologies that have the potential to transform science education and our ongoing research in urban science education. I show how our research evolved to include studies of science for literate citizenry – expanding foci to address birth through death and all settings in which learning occurs – not just schools. Our research aims to be transformative since it includes interventions developed to use what we learned from research to ameliorate intense emotions, improve learning, and enhance the well-being of participants. I explain how we incorporated Jin Shin Jyutsu, a complementary medical knowledge system, to ameliorate intense emotions, become mindful, and improve well-being of participants. I also address research on meditation and mindfulness and their potential to improve learning, emotional styles, and wellness. In a final section I address three of the most important questions raised by colleagues, including scholars from Asia, as I exhort science educators to address grand challenges that threaten the Earth and its social institutions – the alternatives are catastrophic.

In: Asia-Pacific Science Education
Author: Kenneth Tobin

The chapter explores 20 central questions that relate to the development and use of cogenerative dialogue as a means of improving the quality of teaching and learning, getting to know the culture of others in a classroom, and establishing a place for the practice of critical pedagogy. I describe how cogenerative dialogue originated from an effort to use students from high school classrooms to assist their teachers to “better teach kids like me.” These initial conversations about practice were focused on identifying contradictions and creating ways to change the classroom in an endeavor to remove contradictions. We then realized that conversations such as these could provide for the development of shared responsibility for what happens in the classroom. We also noticed that students spoke eloquently in cogenerative dialogues, listened attentively to one another, and focused on successfully interacting with others. Nowadays, cogenerative dialogue is used in interpretive inquiry as a research method that gives voice to students and allows for differences to be identified and explored in an effort to improve the quality of learning in schools.

In: Transforming Urban Education
Author: Kenneth Tobin

This chapter examines how coteaching arose from problems of finding suitable mentor teachers in a large inner-city school in the United States. The students were difficult to keep quiet and orderly and their teachers were reluctant to give up their classes so that prospective teachers could learn to teach by teaching them. We developed coteaching to allow new teachers to teach together. Teachers experienced and learned from one another’s teaching – that is, they learned to teach by teaching at one another’s elbow. Since we commenced coteaching we have developed theoretical frameworks that allowed us to better understand how teachers learn to teach by teaching together and, as we learned to look at learning to teach through new theoretical lenses, we expanded the coteaching model to include more teachers teaching together and finally to include students teaching one another and coteaching with their teachers. Recently, we used coteaching as a research method, which gives coteachers close access to the learning, as it happens in praxis. The twenty questions answered in this chapter are central to the concerns of teacher educators, professional development personnel, policy makers and administrators, and researchers.

For more than a decade coteaching, which is an approach to learning to teach, has been used successfully in teacher education programs for new teachers and professional development programs for more experienced teachers. In that time there have been numerous books and research publications on coteaching. These are listed at the end of this chapter. So what is coteaching and how is it seen to be an effective way of learning to teach? What are its advantages and if there are any, how can readers overcome the disadvantages? Questions such as these are addressed in this chapter.

In: Transforming Urban Education
In: Mindfulness and Educating Citizens for Everyday Life
Author: Kenneth Tobin

In this chapter I address mindfulness and wellness as priorities for educators and citizens in a complex, rapidly changing world. The issues I address include the context of everyday life, emphasizing stress and emotions as salient to the quality of interactions and wellness. The importance of educating the citizenry from birth through death is identified as a priority. Meditation and mindfulness are presented as components of a toolkit that is pertinent to improving lifestyles by, when it is desirable to do so, enabling people to detach emotions from what they do. Also, meditation and mindfulness can be options for people to use to change the emotions they express in particular situations and also reduce the intensity of emotion, if and when it is considered desirable.

A second section of the paper provides an advance organizer for many chapters in this volume that concern complementary approaches to health and wellbeing. In this chapter I focus on Jin Shin Jyutsu as an approach that individuals can use, as selfhelp, to maintain wellness and address health projects that emerge. Jin Shin Jyutsu is presented as a complement to Western medicine, not a replacement for it. The examples I provide in this introductory chapter set the stage for what is to follow in the remainder of the book.

In: Weaving Complementary Knowledge Systems and Mindfulness to Educate a Literate Citizenry for Sustainable and Healthy Lives
In: Science, Learning, Identity
Author: Kenneth Tobin


In this chapter I describe event-oriented inquiry and ways in which it has been used, and evolved in our research. Our uses of event-oriented inquiry are grounded in the research we have done on teaching and learning, and more recently, on the expression of emotion and wellness. Event-oriented inquiry is frequently used along with other methodologies in a multilogical approach that is participatory, interpretive, and embracing of hermeneutic-phenomenological frameworks that also incorporate critical pedagogy and aspects of ethnomethodology. A most important component of our methodology is authentic inquiry, which embraces four criteria – ontological, educative, catalytic, and tactical authenticity. Each of these criteria needs to be planned and enacted. In this chapter I pay particular attention to catalytic and tactical authenticity, and related aspects of designing and utilizing heuristics, as interventions, intended to improve the quality of education, at individual and collective levels, to ensure that all benefit from what we have learned from our research. Throughout the chapter I illustrate the principles of multilogical inquiry and event-oriented inquiry with examples drawn from previously published research that examined the expression of a teacher’s emotions and associated changes in her pulse rate, blood oxygenation, prosody, and proxemics. As part of ongoing research, I present what we learned about breathing while teaching in two scenarios, when the teacher’s blood oxygenation was low, and when it was high.

In: Eventful Learning
In: Doing Educational Research
In: Auto/Biography and Auto/Ethnography
In: The World of Science Education