Forthcoming & Recent

Collaboration with Aik-Ling Tan, Yew-Jin Lee, Tang Wee Teo, Poh Hiang Tan and others at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang University, Singapore. September 20 -30.

Presentations on Sept 21, Sept 28, and Sept 29.

Transformative Research in the Learning Sciences: A focus on teaching, learning, and learning to teach (Sept 28)

Kenneth Tobin, the Graduate Center of The City University of New York

In this presentation I will examine multilogicality and its uses in research on teaching, learning, and learning to teach. I will highlight the role of theory in seeing and obscuring salient issues and giving priority to the selection and use of methodologies and frameworks for theorizing the constructs of investigation. I will specifically address the importance of different theories of culture (i.e., William Sewell Jr and Clifford Geertz) and the associated emphases on identifying patterns of coherence and contradictions. Within the context of a 20-year program of research on emotion and wellness, and its association with social communication, mindfulness, and learning, I will illustrate how uses of polyvagal theory provide previously unimagined insights into interconnections between mindfully speaking, mindfully listening, ameliorating excess emotions, and maintaining wellness. I will conclude by addressing responsibilities of researchers to design and enact transformative toolkits as part of research design and ethical practice.

Teaching and Learning Science: 2016 and beyond (Sept 29)

Teaching and learning science in 2016 and beyond is clearly informed by the history of teaching and learning in the past 50-60 years and also the present, its possible futures and the Earth’s constitution in the Anthropocene epoch (1950 – present). A tendency to seek to reform what happens in science and mathematics in terms of reports assembled by practicing scientists and those with a stake in particular forms of education being maintained/sustained (e.g., business, defense contractors) have maintained a status quo characterized by crypto positivism and efforts to increase achievement on high stakes tests. Although the expressed visions for reform of curricula, teaching and learning, and becoming number 1, are rarely achieved in the US, the reform documents become the Gold standard for similar documents produced internationally and within the US.  I maintain that continuance of this pattern makes no sense. Accordingly, I offer an alternative vision for the learning sciences.

In this presentation I address several areas that may be relevant to education in the learning sciences in Singapore and elsewhere in the world. What I have to say is informed by more than 40 years of research, mostly in science education, in the US and Australia.

Key issues to be addressed:

²  Addressing grand challenges of sustainability, conservation, and eco-harmony.

²  Educating activist citizens who are stewards for a sustainable universe.

²  Maintaining eco-friendly, healthy lifestyles.

²  Mindful practice, reflexivity (becoming aware of the unaware), and getting and staying unstuck.

²  Emotion and wellness.

²  Inquiry skills and science as lived experience

²  Emotional contagion – spreading and controlling emotional spread

²  Physiological expression of emotion and the importance of vagal tone

²  Intervening to maintain good health – meditation, mindfulness and learning from complementary knowledges

Ongoing (New York City)

Presentation: USER-S September 17, 2016

Research in the learning sciences: priorities for urban contexts  (Video on YouTube)

Ken Tobin, Graduate Center, CUNY 

I will trace the history of our research in urban education through studies of cogenerative dialogue, coteaching, emotion, and wellness. I will emphasize continuously evolving theoretical frameworks situated in a dynamic flux that comprises constructs such as equity, social justice, gender, and sexuality. Within a value system that stresses authentic inquiry, the wellness of all participants in research and the social life in which education is embedded is a priority that focuses on the design of toolkits to address forms of disadvantage that emerge in our ongoing studies. While maintaining a focus on teaching and learning, our research embraces a birth through death continuum and a variety of institutions involved in educating the citizenry. I will address the implications of changing times and our approaches to doing and disseminating research. I will situate my presentation in a context of a research community that is often felt to consist of speakers and writers – as distinct from listeners and readers. I will explicitly address issues of learning from others’ work, citation, and challenges of breaking free from mainstream methodologies and constituent axiologies/standpoints. 

Presentation: USER-S November 12, 2016

Transformative Education Research and Sustainable Development: Where have we come and where are we headed — lessons learned in Nepal 

Ken Tobin - Learning Sciences, Urban Education, Graduate Center, CUNY 

ppt slides

I will review some of the highlights of the Nepal conference on transformation and sustainability, examining some of the implications for the road ahead and emphasizing the potential for research and development in the Learning Sciences strand at the Graduate Center. A context for my presentation is a critique of the STEM movement and its appropriation by mainstream opportunists who unwittingly reproduce the status quo (they take the money and run). I address efforts by colleagues to infuse the arts with education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and beyond that to include the humanities — including spirituality. The conference in Nepal was a forum of these trends and much more. The possibilities of contextualizing learning of science, technology, spirituality, engineering, arts, and mathematics in ways that are coordinated and integrated is surely an affordance and was emphasized at the conference. But is it necessary, and is it sufficient? All education activities are immersed in a turbulent stream engulfing a world in which terrorism is prevalent/pervasive, peace cannot be taken for granted, food chains are compromised to the detriment of harmony, and global temperatures are rising, resetting physical and biological equilibria. Mass extinctions are occurring, sea levels are rising and the poles are melting. Surely it is time to question taken-for-granted wisdom in education and rebuff established power structures that have lagged far behind “in-the-moment” issues and reproduced forms of formal and informal education that most of us recognize and with which we are comfortable. It is time for revolution and my presentation will expand the conversations from Nepal to provide all participants with “food for thought.” 


First Internalional Conference on Transformative Education Research and Sustainable Development (October 21-23,  2016)

Keynote speaker: Researching and improving wellness: everyone and everywhere

Mexican collaboration

Xicoténcatl Martínez Ruiz: ongoing work on mindfulness and meditation.

See a short video on mindfulness: 

USA activities

Jin Shin Jyutsu Updating schedule shortly.

Australian collaboration with Steve Ritchie, Murdoch University and colleagues from Queensland University of Technology (Alberto Bellocchi, Donna King & Senka Henderson)

Presentation on July 11, 2016.

Slides attached here: Murdoch presentation on mindfulness and wellness.

Next visit to Perth will be December, 2016.

© Kenneth Tobin 2015