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Saving Science Class by Christopher McGowan

Saving Science Class

Saving Science Class by Christopher McGowan
Feb 14, 2017 | 302 Pages
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    Feb 14, 2017 | 302 Pages

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    Feb 14, 2017 | 302 Pages

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“‘Whatever became of curiosity and discovering through doing?’ This simple question is at the core of McGowan’s journey into how science is being taught (or mis-taught) in most schools. Drawing from his years of experience as teacher and paleontologist, the author shares his own unique history, explores the blurring between science and engineering/technology, and tackles the pervasive role of educationalists.”

—Stephen Gatesy, professor of Biology, Brown University
“With Saving Science Class, McGowan offers up a passionate and provocative dissection of science teaching today, alongside a bold alternative. The key, he argues, is to engage students with abundant hands-on experimentation—the kinds of real-life experiences that ignite imaginations, boost curiosity, and promote critical thinking. Hear, hear!”

—Scott D. Sampson, PhD, host of PBS KIDS Dinosaur Train, and author of How to Raise a Wild Child
“McGowan draws on his extensive experience both as a scientist and as a science teacher to show how science education goes off the rails, and he identifies ways to fix the problem. If McGowan had his way, science classes would be centered on hands-on investigations that focus on basic scientific ideas. In building his case, he does not just rely on dry arguments but tells fascinating stories. The experiments and demonstrations within the book are enough to delight any reader interested in science. I can’t help but think that all of us would be better off if more science classes were designed with McGowan’s advice in mind.”

—Taner Edis, professor of physics, Truman State University
“McGowan sees a world in which science teaching is often listless and uninspired, and in which knowledgeable teachers are shackled by curricula that have been overtaken by an educational establishment that privileges sociological, psychological, and social scientific agenda over science content. He laments the dearth of hands-on learning with purpose. No mere jeremiad, this book is filled with practical, low-budget experiments by which students can learn about the principles of flight, plant respiration, microbiology, aquatic ecology, and fossil preservation, among many other topics.”

—Peter Dodson, professor of Veterinary Anatomy and Paleontology, University of Pennsylvania
“It is refreshing to hear a scientist’s perspective on science education and the framework documents that educationalists have developed. McGowan presents lively arguments for the importance of science education to produce citizens who can understand scientific issues and make informed decisions. We would not consider allowing students who could not read to graduate from high school, yet many students graduate each year with little understanding of science and little knowledge of the natural world. McGowan endeavors to change that.”

—Judy A. Massare, PhD, professor of Earth Sciences, State University of New York, College at Brockport

“Lucid, inspirational, and filled with interesting anecdotes that make it easy to assimilate, McGowan’s objective of ‘learning through doing’ is exactly what is needed to interest young minds in the wonder and basic concepts of science. I would strongly recommend this book to anybody interested in teaching, or learning about, science.”
—Frank Ryan, author of The Mysterious World of the Human Genome

“In our modern world, students require a strong grounding in science. Chris McGowan uses his own broad learning—and a grand variety of teaching experiences—to challenge some of the directives that ‘educationalists’ have imposed on the teaching of science. New academic dogmas, propelled by recent sociological thinking, have diminished the ‘hands-on learning’ that has worked so well for so long. Saving Science Class is an important corrective to recent trends in science education and a fine resource for teachers young and old.”
—William C. Burger, Curator Emeritus, the Field Museum, and author of Complexity

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