added a research item
Elsewhere, I have argued the need for science educators to create a richer tapestry of education, one that weaves together in a well-considered way the threads of knowing (epistemology), being (ontology) and valuing (axiology). These are essential threads that are constitutive of the intersecting and overlapping daily lifeworlds of teachers and students. Educational reforms aimed at improving the quality of students’ educational experiences cannot afford to ignore the importance to pedagogy of any one thread. Here, I extend the tapestry metaphor to interpretive educational research, particularly to the doing of fieldwork activity aimed at understanding (and, sometimes, reshaping) the pedagogical quality of life in science classrooms. In this paper, I make a case for the interpretive researcher to value both reason and emotion for generating a reflective and reflexive understanding of the lived classroom experiences of teachers and students. My focus is on the representational aspect of interpretive research, that is, the writing of the research in which the fieldworker attempts to portray, through the lens of his own experiences, the lived experiences of the persons of his inquiry.
I focus on the experience of collaborative learning in my biochemistry classroom. Using a theoretical perspective called cultural historical activity theory and the theory of structure | agency (Chapter 3), I examine the students’ constructions of their experiences in terms of the tools, rules, communities, and division of labor as they move toward their objects and on to their outcomes in an activity theory diagram (see Fig. 3.2). The most informative data on collaborative learning include the weekly collaborative reports on the CLS and the final summative evaluation of the ten qualitative questions from the LEQ.
This monograph uses a variety of data resources and socio-cultural theoretical frames to highlight the benefits, contradictions, and directions for the future of collaboration between K-12 education and university scientists based on research and evaluation of a NSF-funded project from the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education program (GK-12). Topics cover a range of interests for science educators and include the infusion of good science into curricula, personal learning and growth as a teacher, inquiry and the use of models such as the learning cycle, cooperative learning, effective teaching, and learning science with understanding. Following a Foreword by Kenneth Tobin, nine chapters include: (1) Florida State University Science Graduate Students Working With K-12 Teachers and Students (D. Ellen Granger); (2) Incorporating Physics Into the Middle School Science Curriculum (David Graf); (3) Impacts of the GK-12 Experience on the University (Danielle Sherdan); (4) Shifting Sands and Butterfly Gardens: Growing a Scientifically Literate Society (Mabry Gaboardi); (5) Cooperative Group Learning in Inquiry-Based Science Activities (Katie McGhee); (6) The Learning Cycle of Classroom Management: A Design for Producing an Effective Teacher (Jocelyn Dudley); (7) Better Lessons Through Topic Research (Heaya Summy); (8) Lessons Learned From the Partnership of a GK-12 Fellow and a Third-Grade Teacher (Wendy J. Walton and Roberta Trowbridge); and (9) Science Graduate Students Enhancing K-8 Education (Penny J. Gilmer and Martin Balinsky). Figures, tables and references are provided by chapter. An index is included.
This chapter contains a fictionalized story about my students and their work in a collaborative group in my biochemistry classroom. I express the emotions of my students and address their frustrations (and joys) of learning in our biochemistry course, which I taught through a social constructivist lens in which collaborative learning was central, with students sharing their constructions with each other.
In this concluding chapter, I address the methods of my students using technology and working in collaborative groups to enhance their learning and interest in biochemistry. Because “[w]riting these stories reminds us of the continual co-creation of the self and social science” (Richardson 2000, p. 943), I am able to look back and examine the quality criteria in the various genres of writing.