By Joseph Polman

This situation examine of a great instructor presents an account of the problems and rewards of placing cutting edge educating into perform. the writer makes use of descriptions of lecture room lifestyles to discover one teacher's makes an attempt to create an cutting edge technique of instructing technological know-how in secondary college.

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Over and Over Again 96 Lessons Learned and Prospects for Future Research and Development 102 8 Teacher's Time Limits, Students' Time Expanses 106 The UFOs & Aliens Project: Falling through the Cracks 106 The Zodiac Project: It Seemed Like Plenty of Time 117 Mitigating Time Problems 122 9 How the School Culture Affects Guided Participation 124 Earthquakes: Shocks and Aftershocks of a Grade Focus 124 The Sun Project: From Cooperation to Explosion 132 The Dinosaur Extinction Project: Just Trying to Get by 136 The Culture of School and the Problem of Projects 146 10 Coaching Active Students through Transformative Communication and Encouragement of Student Voice 148 Plesiosaurs: Coaching and Co-Ownership 149 Interlude: Transformative Communication in Action 154 Digging up Plesiosaurs Successfully: Developing Fluency with a Variety of Tools and Resources 159 The Promise and Pitfalls of Group Work 161 Page ix Using a Sample Write-up as a Model 163 Scientific Interest and Professional Collaboration for the Teacher 164 UFO Sightings: Balancing Student Voice with Teacher Advice 165 Repetition Leads to Improvement 168 Identifying and Helping Students Who Need More Support 169 Maintaining the Equilibrium Between Extremes 170 11 Designing Project-Based Learning Environments 172 The Call for Models 173 The Need to Customize These Ideas for Other Situations 173 Adapt and Improvise: Improvements through Iterative Design 174 The Challenge: "Tutoring" Many Students at Once 175 Constraints on Project-Based Leaming Environments 176 Mixed Constraints and Resources for PBLEs 177 Resources for PBLEs 179 Tradeoffs of Project-Based Science in Schools 181 Continued Change As Inevitable and Revitalizing 184 Resources for Guiding Expeditions into Science 184 The Promise of Expeditions into Science 185 Appendix A Methodological Biography: Walking Around in Other People's Shoes 187 Appendix B Class Handouts 199 References 207 Index 215 About the Author 221 Page xi FOREWORD Achieving a deeper understanding of the situated nature of educational reforms is an essential antidote to thick commission reports calling for more engaged learners ready for the cognitive demands of an information age, or prescriptions in the National Science Education Standards to foster students' learning science through project-based inquiry.

The demographic makeup of students at Lakeside as of 199495 was 85% white, 2% African-American, 11% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 2% Hispanic, and less than 1% American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut (Sunspace, 1997). The demographics of Rory Wagner's Period 1/2 class reported on in this study are thus not atypical: of the 28 students enrolled, 25 were white, 2 Asian-American, and 1 African-American. Although there is an average student/teacher ratio at the school of 12/ 1, the size of Rory's classes over the past three years has ranged from 15 to the 28 in the group detailed in this study.

Alan Peshkin (1988) has pointed out that understanding complexity is a key benefit of qualitative inquiry. Understanding Rory's and his students' intentions and actions situated in this particular environment will raise important issues we must face in other learning environments with similar goals of introducing project-based science, but different particulars. " According to Erickson (1986), "interpretive" research refers to any form of participant observational research that is centrally concerned with the role of meaning in social life, enacted in local situations.

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