Making Scientists

Making Scientists

Six Principles for Effective College Teaching

eBook - 2013
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Harvard University Press
Gregory Light and Marina Micari reject the view that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are elite disciplines restricted to a small number with innate talent. Rich in concrete advice, Making Scientists offers a new paradigm of how scientific subjects can be taught at the college level.

For many college students, studying the hard sciences seems out of the question. Students and professors alike collude in the prejudice that physics and molecular biology, mathematics and engineering are elite disciplines restricted to a small number with innate talent. Gregory Light and Marina Micari reject this bias, arguing, based on their own transformative experiences, that environment is just as critical to academic success in the sciences as individual ability. Making Scientists lays the groundwork for a new paradigm of how scientific subjects can be taught at the college level, and how we can better cultivate scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals.

The authors invite us into Northwestern University’s Gateway Science Workshop, where the seminar room is infused with a sense of discovery usually confined to the research lab. Conventional science instruction demands memorization of facts and formulas but provides scant opportunity for critical reflection and experimental conversation. Light and Micari stress conceptual engagement with ideas, practical problem-solving, peer mentoring, and—perhaps most important—initiation into a culture of cooperation, where students are encouraged to channel their energy into collaborative learning rather than competition with classmates. They illustrate the tangible benefits of treating students as apprentices—talented young people taking on the mental habits, perspectives, and wisdom of the scientific community, while contributing directly to its development.

Rich in concrete advice and innovative thinking, Making Scientists is an invaluable guide for all who care about the future of science and technology.

Book News
Light and Micari (director and associate director, Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, Northwestern U.) establish a new foundation for teaching scientific subjects at the college level, and how to improve the cultivation of scientists, engineers, and other science professionals. While some have argued that the hard sciences are areas of study and disciplines for a select few, they argue that the learning environment is as important as natural ability. Intended for anyone interested or involved in science education, the book includes topics such as: their Gateway Science Workshop program, in-depth learning, engaging problems, connecting peers, mentoring learning, creating community, and conducting research. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2013
ISBN: 9780674075191
Characteristics: 1 online resource (vii, 286 pages) : illustrations
Additional Contributors: Micari, Marina


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