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Organized into position papers, commentaries, responses, and synthesis chapters, facilitating a dialogic structure
Grounds discussion in a common set of material leading to collaborative analysis
Includes primary data (transcripts, exhibits, images)
Theories of Learning and Studies of Instructional Practice
Timothy Koschmann, editor
Though there have been numerous calls for educational researchers to attend more closely to the details of how teaching is actually done, instructional practice remains an inadequately studied topic. Theories of Learning and Studies of Instructional Practice seeks to remedy this by helping construct a foundation for a practice-based science of instruction. It focuses on the fundamental question, what roles should theories of learning play in the study of instructional practice?
In educational research, learning theories represent alternative conceptualizations of what we take learning to be. This volume examines three contemporary theories of learning with particular relevance to the study of practice, namely, situated learning, dialogic theory(or dialogism), and Deweyan transactionalism. Drawing upon a panel of internationally-prominent social scientists, psychologists, philosophers of education and teacher educators, the book critically evaluates the potential contributions of each to a science of instructional practice. Rather than considering these matters in the abstract, chapter authors illustrate their positions by applying the different treatments of learning to selected samples of instructional practice. The data analyzed come from a particular fifth-grade classroom in which an innovative way of teaching math was being tested. Extensive transcripts, images and exhibits are provided, enabling the reader to follow and evaluate the analytic arguments being presented.
The volume, therefore, delivers precisely on its title—it provides both an articulation of current theories of learning and a series of carefully constructed studies of instructional practice, seeking to explore the relationship between them. In so doing the book offers no easy answers. Its purpose instead is to bring areas of controversy and confusion to the surface. For researchers and graduate students in the learning sciences, this provocative volume opens the door to the next crucial round of dialogue and debate.