|Article Type:||E-book review|
|Subject:||E-books (E-book reviews)|
|Publication:||Name: The American Biology Teacher Publisher: National Association of Biology Teachers Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Biological sciences; Education Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 National Association of Biology Teachers ISSN: 0002-7685|
|Issue:||Date: March, 2010 Source Volume: 72 Source Issue: 3|
|Topic:||NamedWork: Doing Biology (Textbook)|
|Persons:||Reviewee: Hagen, Joel; Allchin, Douglas; Singer, Fred|
Doing Biology [c] 1996 Joel Hagen, Douglas Allchin, & Fred
National standards and many states' curriculum frameworks now refer to teaching of the "history and nature of science." The SHIPS (Sociology, History and the Philosophy of Science) Resource Center at the University of Minnesota has sought to provide classroom resources that address these content standards. One of those resources is the recently released Doing Biology CD and companion Web site (http://www. doingbiology.net). The Web site states:
Doing Biology is a textbook disguised as a digital resource. The CD is organized into 17 chapters. Each chapter features a PDF of one of the chapters from the 1996 release of the Doing Biology textbook. The CD and associated Web site are virtually identical. The resource is user friendly, with easy-to-follow links to each chapter's PDF. An index of science "themes" is provided to assist teaching by linking scientific ideas to specific stories. For example, the idea "burden of proof is visited in chapters 6, 12, and 17. The Web site displays a table of contents with individual scientists' stories arranged in four broad headings: Evolution & Diversity, Cellular Biology, Organismal Biology, and Ecology & Behavior.
Each of the chapters provides detailed historical perspective and background information for a specific scientific discovery or breakthrough. The stories of the personalities of the scientists are told with a clear voice. The book does a very good job of explaining how wildly unpopular and controversial ideas can become mainstream scientific thought in a relatively short time and why ideas that are commonplace today may have been unpopular when originally proposed. All in all, these stories make for pleasant and informative reading.
While the stories are compelling and interesting for those who wish to know the personal story behind the discovery, the CD and companion Web site do very little to bring those stories to life. Each PDF chapter is 10-15 pages of scanned text. The textbook chapters, albeit well written, are difficult to read because of scan quality issues. The "guided inquiry" format mentioned in the preface is nothing more than strategically placed framing questions printed in bold type. In traditional textbook style, each chapter is followed by several questions for assessing comprehension. For something that proposes to help us teach "outside the textbook," this looks and feels very much like a textbook.
Educator in Residence
HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
We present 17 historical cases studies in a guided inquiry format. We have aimed to address several proposals for reforming science education. Textbooks teach biological content. We want students learn more: about the history and nature of science, about science in practice....
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|