Mathematics and science education may feel like the tower of Babel - involving many intersecting communities of practice (teachers, disciplinary scientists, education researchers, teacher educators, curriculum designers), each one characterized by particular practices and ways of communicating and thinking about the discipline and its teaching and learning. Furthermore, each of these communities is itself highly diverse - teachers may base learning on problem solving, investigation, or practicing procedures, and researchers may rely on fundamentally different theories of learning and of teaching that often make use of the same words (knowledge, learning, development, understanding) in crucially different ways. In spite, or perhaps in light of this epistemic diversity, collaborations across communities are prevalent in almost every aspect of mathematics and science education: research, teacher preparation and professional development, curriculum development, etc. However, achieving productive cross-community collaborations is far from trivial, and there are many examples demonstrating how epistemic diversity can lead to confusion, tensions, and incoherence in the growth of knowledge. Nevertheless, there is a growing body of literature about how epistemic diversity can be leveraged as resource to inspire new understandings and insights, which may not be available for each community on its own.
This course addresses epistemic diversity in mathematics and science education from a discursive perspective. We will examine similarities and differences in discourse across and within communities of practice, and explore the notion of collaborative learning from different theoretical perspectives, which we will apply in analyzing cases of cross-community collaboration in various contexts, for example:
- Practitioner-researcher collaboration in the conduct of educational research.
- Collaboration between teachers, teacher educators, educational researches and disciplinary experts in teacher preparation and professional development.
- Collaboration between teachers from different grade levels and/or disciplines
- Initiation of students from different backgrounds into educational research.
- Theory networking within and across mathematics and science education.
The curriculum will be finalized based on the profiles and interests of participating students.