The Graduate Center of CUNY

When I arrived at the Graduate Center I maintained a research office in Philadelphia, where Stacy Olitsky and visiting professors such as Steve Ritchie continued our NSF funded research in urban schools. Simultaneously, I formed a New York-based research squad that extended the work we were doing in Philadelphia. Most of the research involved teacher researchers who undertook research on collaborative models for enhancing science and mathematics in urban middle and high schools. Accordingly, research included studies of cogenerative dialogue and coteaching and incorporated youth as co-researchers. Since the program I had joined was in urban education, there were doctoral students who situated their research in fields other than science and mathematics. However, common to all studies were methodological preferences for bricolage/multilogicality, polysemia, polyphonia, multilevel research, video analysis, and more generally the use of sociocultural frameworks.

Ken Tobin with Joe Kincheloe

With Joe Kincheloe after a hard day at the Graduate Center (circa 2006)

Grants Obtained While at The Graduate Center of CUNY (2003-2010)

1. 2004-2010. Use of research to improve the quality of science education in urban high schools (DUE-0427570). Funded amount, $304,963. National Science Foundation.

2. 2004-2005. The MSP in NYC. Kenneth Tobin was Director of the Evaluation. (ESI-0412413, PI, Pamela Mills). Evaluation funded at approx. $150,000 for the year in which I was involved. National Science Foundation. Note that I completed my role as an evaluator on December 2005 and began a longitudinal research program that explores the uses of cogenerative dialogue in New York City Public schools. The funding (direct costs) was approximately $100,000 for the 2006 calendar year.

Collaborative grants from Australia

1. 2008-2010. Co-principal investigator. Emotional transitions: Exploring professional transitions of science teachers. (PI: Steve Ritchie). Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. DP0984394: $250,000.

2. 2011-2014. Co-principal investigator. Emotional learning in socioscientific issues for enhancement of scientific literacy. (PI: Steve Ritchie). Australian Research Council Linkage Grant. LP110200368: $200,000.

3. 2012-2014. Co-principal investigator. Eventful learning in quality pre-service science teacher education. (PI: Ritchie with Tobin, Bellocchi, & King). Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. $185,000.

4. 2014-2017. Co-principal investigator (CIs: Simone Volet & Stephen Ritchie, Deborah Pino-Pasternak with PIs Marja Vauras, & Kenneth Tobin). Advancing future primary teachers’ engagement in science inquiry learning. Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. DP150101142: $358,052.

Current research interests and pathways

Over a 16-year period, the focus of my research evolved to include the physiological expression of emotion in the voice, face, pulse rate, blood pressure, oxygenation of the blood, and body temperature. Initially our research on proxemics involved body orientation and movement, gestures, head movements, eye gaze, and synchrony and entrainment. We combine these studies with theoretical frameworks associated with entrainment, social resonance, and agency | passivity relationships. Simultaneously we explored emotional climates and ways of ameliorating excess motions when, if, and as necessary. These studies evolved into research on interventions, including the use of a variety of heuristics and breathing meditation.

We employ several overarching goals including harmony, wellness, and mindfulness. In this context we have developed a number of mindfulness heuristics that have been used in research on education, the lifeworld, the body, listening, and speaking.

Research on heuristics; authentic inquiry; hermeneutic – phenomenological – ethnomethodological; use of interventions; multilevel inquiry; developing new interventions to promote wellness and mindfulness; within a framework of physio philosophy, how and when are the safety energy locks employed to sustain wellness.

Contact Professor Tobin