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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Spring 2005

Book Reviews

Teaching Tips : Innovations in Undergraduate Science Instruction

Julie T. Miran
Science Librarian
Haverford College

Druger, Marvin, Siebert, Eleanor Dantzler, and Crow, Linda W. Teaching Tips : Innovations in Undergraduate Science Instruction. Arlington, Va.: NSTA, National Science Teachers Association Press, 2004.

Teaching Tips: Innovations in Undergraduate Science Instruction edited by Marvin Druger, Eleanor D. Siebert, and Linda W. Crow is a compilation of teaching tips for college instructors of science. Compiled in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Society for College Science Teachers (SCST), the book is an attempt to capture the best practices or ideas from college science teachers across the country and the various scientific disciplines.

The book's arrangement facilitates access to the many helpful hints. Organized by three major areas: Pedagogical Practices, Assessment Activities, and Content Challenges, this layout makes it easy for the reader to find continuity between tips that transcend a number of different disciplines. Within each area, tips are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name and some authors have written more than one article. Finally, the table of contents in the front of the book and a detailed index in the back that ranges from broader categories like assessment and biology as well as individual entries of each article by title make this work even easier to use.

The tips in each section are especially helpful in each of the separate divisions. In the Pedagogical Practices faculty discuss and highlight issues that all of us in information literacy struggle with in every discipline. They share student-focused, engaged activities to try and conquer how to best teach a particular concept or idea. Strategies range from teaching to non-majors, stressing basic concepts before getting into specialization, using IM as a tool for engagement, and bringing former students into the classroom to greet and welcome current students enrolled in a class. All of these techniques spill into Assessment and Content Challenges where tips include things like using pretests and post-tests, determining student knowledge BEFORE class using web-based exercises, writing poetry, reinforcing physical science concepts with comic strips, and teaching evolution by analyzing student misconceptions. Finally, many of the entries include references for further information.

This book is a nice addition to any academic library. Techniques are applicable across all sorts of class sizes and disciplines, and for those of us who are librarians, the book affirms for us techniques that we might use in the classroom. In addition there are helpful strategies for approaching our faculty to align with them in the teaching of information literacy in their particular fields of interest.

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