Annotated Bibliography: U.S. Education James W. Guthrie

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[. . .] Arkady Plotnitsky, Barbara Herrnstein Smith. (1997) Mathematics, Science and Postclassical Theory. North Carolina: Duke University Press.

This book was produced by a host of international thinkers, and educational philosophers. The book handles deeper theories on education, and makes new connections between theory, and practice in the classroom.

Like many books written by philosophers, I found this book to be thick, and a bit abstract. The theories which these contributors brought forth were somewhat vague, and the authors seemed to be a bit lost in the theory while not making practical and applicable connection to actual practice in the classroom.

Elizabeth Fennema, Thomas A. Romberg. (1999) Mathematics Classrooms That Promote Understanding. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

This book approaches the subject of teaching mathematic from a common goal of providing a research base that would enable the emergence of classrooms in which students could learn mathematics with understanding. The work is based in that continually increasing body of literature, but the book is also innovative in its approach to communicating mathematics principles to students. Most previous work that provided a foundation for this book was conducted with teachers and their students. Working as partners with teachers and students has enabled the authors to mature and to remain relevant to the real work of mathematics teaching and learning.

This book is very helpful in making connections between theory and practice. The authors spend a considerable amount of time helping the reader understand that connecting with the students own desires to understand a subject, such as space, or computers, and applying that desire to the subject of mathematics education is a successful strategy which helps motivate students in the classroom.

Matthias Schirn. (1998) The Philosophy of Mathematics Today. Oxford University,: Clarendon Press.

This book is a collection of essays brought forward to convey a twofold objective. The first is to document important approaches, tendencies, and results in current philosophy of mathematics. The educational landscape is changing so rapidly, that these essays on theory and philosophy give a point of demarcation regarding the current state of educational progress. Secondly, this book provides fruitful impulses for future work in several of its areas. The volume reflects many of the different methods and viewpoints of current research in the field. If one were to attempt to characterize the essays collected here in terms of a feature they all share, one would probably appeal to their being essentially concerned with foundational issues.

A find that in my learning style, when I understand the foundational aspects of a subject, and the philosophical underpinnings, I do not need to argue about the philosophy, but rather can engage the subject with a deeper understanding and success. This book provided that kind of understanding for me that makes the application of educational theory more relevant.

Alan Cromer. (1997) Connected Knowledge: Science, Philosophy, and Education New York: Oxford University Press.

Schools typically teach, and expect that students learn science as the process of explaining phenomena by making inferences and experimentation about their causes. In this view, scientific understanding is assumed to be a rather natural human activity that's pursued, to some degree or other, by all peoples. However, in the classroom, teaching science can be anything but a natural activity. The limited definition fails to distinguish science from other intellectual activities. As a consequence, gthis author believes that science education in the United States fails to develop in students the unique habits of mind that constitute scientific thinking.

This author, because of his experience linking retired engineers and scientist into the middle school classroom has a unique and wonderful perspective on the educational process. I enjoyed the authors examples of how the collegiate level professor was able to introduct into the classroom both philosophy and practical application. The author was able to demonstrate that education, in order to ignite the interests of the students, must be a combination of the two domains.

Kenneth Tobin. (1993) The Practice of Constructivism in Science Education New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

This author focused on the ongoing revolution in education over theory and practice. While the disagreements over teaching philosoply are great, this author seems to take advantage of the conflict in order to introduce his own theory of constructivism in science education. The book is contributed to by science educators across than nation, and makes a case for unsing a constructivist to teaching and educating.

While the documentation for his theory is sound, I did not gain significant insight into practical and comprehensive approached to teaching through this book. The constructivist approach to teaching by using abstract images in order to make connected and relevant application did not build any confidence in me. Teaching science and mathematics to secondary ed students is already abstract enough, at least to some of them. I want to approach my classroom with practical, and real world application in order to facilitate learning.

Reinders Duit, Shawn M. Glynn. (1995) Learning Science in the Schools: Research Reforming Practice New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

This book, while also considering a constructivist approach, was able to make the connection between theory and practice. The book discussed the importance of hands on experimentation in the classroom, so that the student can experience for themselves the principles of science, and how those principle affect their lives.

A liked this book for the examples, and anecdoted taken from the classroom and woven into the text. When students are able to make pratical connections between theory and practice, which is the purpose of science education in the classroom, then they make two positive connections. The first is to the relevance of the instruction, but also practical education… [END OF PREVIEW]

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