Improving Theories and Practices Through Collaborative Self-studies of Urban Science Teaching and Learning

  • J. Kenneth Tobin
Part of the ASTE Series in Science Education book series (ASTE, volume 1)


Self-study of teaching and learning in urban high school classrooms is presented as an activity that has the potential to catalyze the transformation of science curricula in ways that take account of teachers’ and students’ voices. In this autobiographical chapter, Ken Tobin describes what he learned from undertaking research on his own teaching in urban high school science—especially how he learned from urban youth whom he was teaching. Important features are learning from difference, use of an array of theoretical frameworks to support research, willingness to acknowledge when learning environments are dysfunctional, and the need to consider the potential of others’ expertise. Dr. Tobin describes how cogenerative dialogue emerged from a program of research in urban schools and evolved to serve as a methodology for self-study research, a bridge between theory and practice, and a means of learning to teach by researching teaching and learning. Uses of self-study research and cogenerative dialogue can infuse the voices of teachers and learners into enacted curricula that are adaptive to local contexts and continuously transform to be relevant to a changing world in which sustainability is a priority and to support a literate citizenry that sustains individual and collective wellness and well-being.


Science Education Preservice Teacher Science Teacher Urban School Urban Youth 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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