In Teaching, Should We Try to be Objective?

In teaching, should we try to be objective? If you are a teacher, or if you have taught school, you most likely dealt with  this question at one time or another.  As you will see, it’s not as easy to answer as we might think. It’s Not Settled Today, there are groups who are calling for […]

In Science Teaching, What Does it Mean to Teach Evolution Objectively?

In a comment about the earlier post on this blog, Evolution Might be a Law, But Student Ideas are Important, Dr. Robert Lattimer, President of Citizens for Objective Public Education, raised an important idea about science teaching.  When evolution is taught in our schools, it should be taught objectively. In context, here is what Dr. […]

NAT GEO The Wild Mississippi

NAT GEO presents The Wild Mississippi, a three-part TV program on Sunday, February 12.  I viewed the three episodes today, and recommend that you tune in Sunday night at 8:00 P.M (Eastern) to view the first of the three episodes.  The second and third episodes follow at 9:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M.  Check the schedule […]

Three Web 2.0 Science Projects for Your Science Courses

Web 2.0 refers to using the Web in a more interactive, and social way where students can create, share, publish and work together in collaborative groups.  Over the years, science teachers have created a variety of Web 2.0 projects for K-12 students. This post is to announce the availability of three Web 2.0 projects that […]

Science 2.0 Resources

There were some interesting resources identified in this Summer’s edition of The Science Teacher. In a column entitled Science 2.0, the authors bring our attention to The Synapse, a network connecting hundreds of biology teachers worldwide. Developed by Sean Nash just a couple of years ago, the author named the network after the synapse, the […]

Science 2.0 Resources

There were some interesting resources identified in this Summer’s edition of The Science Teacher. In a column entitled Science 2.0, the authors bring our attention to The Synapse, a network connecting hundreds of biology teachers worldwide. Developed by Sean Nash just a couple of years ago, the author named the network after the synapse, the […]

Art of Teaching Science linked on the NatGeo Great Migrations Blog Carnival

The Great Migrations Blog Carnival: Part II Minjae Ormes, of National Geographic Channel, sent me this text that announces further the NatGeo’s Great Migrations program that premiered last week.  As Minjae notes, a group of science bloggers wrote about the program on their blogs.  The Art of Teaching Science was among this group.  Here is […]

Great Migrations

I received an email from Minjae Ormes, of the National Geographic Channel announcing a programming event, Great Migrations, which began on November 7, and will continue with 6 additional programs. Following the migrations of many animals, the program also includes multimedia sites, and videos. Here are two video clips from the first program, which was […]

Darwin Day: February 12

On Michael Barton’s blog, The Dispersal of Darwin, there is a post informing us of a movement by the American Humanist Association to get the President to officially name February 12 as Darwin Day.  You can link here to read about the International Darwin Day Foundation, and indeed you can sign a petition urging the […]

From Darwin’s Darkest Hour to the Greatest Show on Earth

One of the Weblogs that I frequently read is Michael Barton’s The Dispersal of Darwin.  You will find all things Darwin on his site.  In a recent post, Michael reviewed a new PBS film about Charles Darwin and his wife Emma entitled Darwin’s Darkest Hour, which you can see on-line.  I saw the film last […]

From Darwin's Darkest Hour to the Greatest Show on Earth

One of the Weblogs that I frequently read is Michael Barton’s The Dispersal of Darwin.  You will find all things Darwin on his site.  In a recent post, Michael reviewed a new PBS film about Charles Darwin and his wife Emma entitled Darwin’s Darkest Hour, which you can see on-line.  I saw the film last […]

Will “Common Tests” Answer the Question: What knowledge is of most worth?

There was an article in the recent issue of Education Week entitled Experts to Weigh in on Common Tests.  They will have their chance to speak to U.S. Department of Education in Atlanta, Boston and Denver. A bit of background.  Forty-eight of the 50 states have agreed to work together to develop “common academic standards”  […]

Will "Common Tests" Answer the Question: What knowledge is of most worth?

There was an article in the recent issue of Education Week entitled Experts to Weigh in on Common Tests.  They will have their chance to speak to U.S. Department of Education in Atlanta, Boston and Denver. A bit of background.  Forty-eight of the 50 states have agreed to work together to develop “common academic standards”  […]

Creation: A New Film About Charles Darwin

Earlier this week, I had a pingback  from Michael Barton’s very interesting website entitled The Dispersal of Darwin.  On his site I read about Michael’s recent trip to Cambridge, England, and on one of his posts from England he mentioned a new film that is coming out in September about Charles Darwin. The new film […]

Science Teaching 3.0: A New Word Sign for Innovative Teaching

In the last post, I introduced the notion that we can look at science teaching, globalization, the Earth, and the World Wide Web using a three-point scale, e.g. 1.0, 2.0, 3.0. In particular, I introduced the use of the word-sign Science Teaching 3.0 as a way of calling attention to the humanistic science paradigm (click […]

Holistic Teaching: Integrating ideas of Vernadsky & Lovelock into science teaching

The opening sentence in John Miller’s book, The Holistic Curriculum is that holistic education attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature. Nature at its core is holistic,interrelated and dynamic. As such we have much to learn about curriculum from environmental education, and the science-technology-society (STS) movement (each developed In previous […]

Holistic Teaching: Integrating ideas of Vernadsky & Lovelock into science teaching

The opening sentence in John Miller’s book, The Holistic Curriculum is that holistic education attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature. Nature at its core is holistic,interrelated and dynamic. As such we have much to learn about curriculum from environmental education, and the science-technology-society (STS) movement (each developed In previous […]

Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky & the Gaia Theory

In the last post, I introduced Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (link to a brief bio), the Russian scientist whose pioneering work, unnoticed by James Lovelock when he first proposed the Gaia hypothesis, forms the basis for much of our understanding of the biosphere, what it really is, and how the region of the biosphere is the […]

Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky & the Gaia Theory

In the last post, I introduced Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (link to a brief bio), the Russian scientist whose pioneering work, unnoticed by James Lovelock when he first proposed the Gaia hypothesis, forms the basis for much of our understanding of the biosphere, what it really is, and how the region of the biosphere is the […]

Global Thinking & the Gaia Theory

In 1989 I met Dr. Anatoly Zaklebyney, professor of environmental science education, the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow. I was working with American and Russian teachers on a project that had emerged from teacher and researcher exchanges that I directed for the Association for Humanistic Psychology. Our project in Russia was organized by the Russian […]

Global Thinking & the Gaia Theory

In 1989 I met Dr. Anatoly Zaklebyney, professor of environmental science education, the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow. I was working with American and Russian teachers on a project that had emerged from teacher and researcher exchanges that I directed for the Association for Humanistic Psychology. Our project in Russia was organized by the Russian […]

The Gaia Theory: Its Origins & Implications

The Gaia Theory was the result of collaboration between the British scientist, James Lovelock, and the American biologist, Lynn Margulis. They proposed the Gaia “hypothesis” in their 1974 paper entitled Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere: the Gaia hypothesis and was published in Tellus, Volume 26. According to the Gribbin’s account, Lovelock and Margulis […]

The Gaia Theory: Its Origins & Implications

The Gaia Theory was the result of collaboration between the British scientist, James Lovelock, and the American biologist, Lynn Margulis. They proposed the Gaia “hypothesis” in their 1974 paper entitled Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere: the Gaia hypothesis and was published in Tellus, Volume 26. According to the Gribbin’s account, Lovelock and Margulis […]

Further Thoughts on Evolutionary Teaching in Texas from Georgia!

I’ve returned to Georgia, and I wanted to look back over the most recent posts that focused on the actions of the Texas Board of Education on the teaching of theory (of evolution, expansion of the Universe, and all others) in science class.  A good review of the events in Texas are contained in an […]

Strengths and Weaknesses of Evolution May Be Out of Texas Science Standards

UPDATE: The Texas Board of Education approved the science standards BUT teachers will be required to have students “scrutinize” all sides of the theories. Read more here for more details. We are in the Round Top Texas area for two weeks participating in a very large collection of antiques shows held twice a year in […]

If You Teach Evolution, You May Be Required to Teach It Critically!

Legislators in several states believe that laws need to be passed to ensure that students are engaged in critical thinking activities. However, the legislators have limited their own thinking, and have selected specific scientific theories that should be examined critically, one of course, is evolution. Around the country, this trend is on the move. Here […]

On the Darwin & Lincoln Birthdays

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.  Yes, these two important people were born on the same day in the same year, February 12, 1809.  One would go on to explain how humans evolved as part of nature, and the other would go on to help heal a […]

On the Darwin & Lincoln Birthdays

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.  Yes, these two important people were born on the same day in the same year, February 12, 1809.  One would go on to explain how humans evolved as part of nature, and the other would go on to help heal a […]

A Lesson on Darwin, Fossils and Other Stuff

I was invited by one of our grandsons’ teachers to visit her 7th grade life science class at Greenbrier Middle School, Evans, Georgia (about 15 miles west of Augusta). I had not taught a lesson for a group of 7th graders in a long time, so this was going to be a challenge. When I […]

Notebooks in the Classroom: Darwin’s Secret Notebooks

Science teachers have been having their students keep science notebooks and journals as a way to help students keep a record of their work, and as a place to reflect on their ideas.  For many teachers, the journal is one way to help students using writing as a vehicle to learn.  Professor Carolyn Keys has […]

Notebooks in the Classroom: Darwin's Secret Notebooks

Science teachers have been having their students keep science notebooks and journals as a way to help students keep a record of their work, and as a place to reflect on their ideas.  For many teachers, the journal is one way to help students using writing as a vehicle to learn.  Professor Carolyn Keys has […]

What Would Darwin Say About Intelligent Design?

In this month’s Scientific American there is a very interesting article written by Glenn Branch & Eugenie C. Scott entitled The Latest Face of Creationism in the Classroom. There are three key ideas in the article, and they highlight the controversies that have surrounded the teaching of evolution in American public schools.  Here are the […]

Role Playing Darwin in the Classroom

A friend of mine, on Darwin’s birthday (February 12), would dress up in Victorian attire as a young Charles Darwin, enter his high school biology classroom, and announce that he was the “father of evolution.”   Then, he pulled out his iphone, and i-clicked through a series of pictures of the trip Darwin had taken […]

The 200th Anniversary of The Father of Evolution

This is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, who was born February 12, 1809, which is the same day that Abraham Lincoln was born.  Darwin, according to one of our grandsons, is the “father of evolution,” (see yesterday’s post). Two recent publications devote considerable space to Charles Darwin and Evolution.  The January […]

The Father of Evolution

Today I received a voicemail from one of our grandsons (Evan) wondering if I might come and speak to his science class. After leaving a message saying I would be happy to do this, he called back and explained. His middle school science teacher is working with the students in a study of evolution, and […]

Mousetraps and Science Teaching: A Follow-up to Only a Theory

In Kenneth Miller’s book, Only a Theory, he talks about the fundamental concept underlying “intelligent design” and goes on to show how the fundamental concept is wrong, and not supported in biological research.  The fundamental idea is that there are some aspects of nature that that are just too complex to have “evolved” to their […]

Theory as Art and Science

The other day I was at my favorite book store, and purchased two books with the following titles.  Book 1: Only a Theory by Kenneth R. Miller; and Book 2: Final Theory by Mark Alpert.  I wasn’t looking for either book.  Alpert’s book was sitting on the display table as you walked into the store, […]

Science (Teaching) is a Creative Process

There was an interesting “My Turn” essay in this week’s Newsweek entitled Lessons in Life (Science) by Sally G. Hoskins, who teaches undergraduate biology.  In the article, she informs us that one of major goals in the biology course she teaches is that her students leave the course with the idea that just like art […]

Earthday 2008 for the Birds

Earthday is a day for action and reflection. Some reflection follows: I read two wonderful books about birds this past year by Bernd Heinrich, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont. The first was the Snoring Bird: My Family’s Journey Through A Century of Biology. It’s a wonderful story of his father’s life […]

California’s Stem Cell Research Program—The Rest of the Story

In yesterday’s post I wrote that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) announced the awarding of $45 million to medical researchers in many of California’s research centers, universities and institutes. However, the money for the grants was “borrowed money.” About $80 million in grants are expected to be announced next month. The CIRM was […]

California's Stem Cell Research Program—The Rest of the Story

In yesterday’s post I wrote that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) announced the awarding of $45 million to medical researchers in many of California’s research centers, universities and institutes. However, the money for the grants was “borrowed money.” About $80 million in grants are expected to be announced next month. The CIRM was […]

California Funds 72 Stem Cell Research Projects

In an earlier post I wrote about California being the action state in funding stem cell research. Today the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded more than $45 million in research grants. Seventy-two grants totaling $45 million were given out to 20 academic institutions throughout the state. 231 applications were received. The grants ranged in […]

Stem Cell Bill Passes House

Today the US House of Representatives passed another stem cell bill by a vote of 253 to 174. The bill would authorize federal support for research using stem cells derived from excess embryos that fertility clinics would otherwise discard. President Bush vetoed the bill the last time it came to his desk, and he has […]

God and Science, Part II

In July I wrote a post entitled God and Science which was prompted by Francis Collins book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence of Belief. Collins, a Christian, outlines how a scientist-believer can integrate science and faith. Now Time Magazine has interviewed Dr. Collins and Richard Dawkins. Collins is Director of the National […]

Stem Cell Research Issues

Since the recent bill proposed by the Senate to support embryonic stem cell research through NIH funding, and the subsequent veto by the President, considerable discussion has ensued from each side of the issue. Today’s issue of Time Magazine has as its featured story, Stem Cells: The Hope and the Hype. The article explores the […]

The Stem Cell Research Issue

This week the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would have allowed researchers to do continued stem cell research. As promised, President Bush vetoed the bill a day after it passed in the senate. NPR provided a detailed time-line of the Stem-Cell Debate, noting that in 1981 stem cells were first isolated by researchers Gail […]

Teaching Evolution: A Case Study of a Courageous Science Teacher

There was an article (Evolution’s Lonely Battle in a Georgia Classroom) in the New York Times online edition on June 29 about a middle school teacher by the name of Pat New. She stood alone in her small north Georgia school district of Lumpkin County, which is located in the mountains, and decided not to […]

The Art and Creativity in Scientific Theories

Two of the books (by Edward O. Wilson and Simon Winchester) that I am currently reading are based on two of the most robust and important scientific theories that humans have discovered to explain two different sets of natural phenomena, namely the origin of the species, and origin and movement of crustal plates. Charles Darwin […]

The Year that Evolved by Design

In science education, the year 2005, 100 years after Einstein’s “Annus Mirabilis,” had its own miracles, and that was the decision rendered by the Federal Judge, John Jones in the case brought to his court by parents in the Dover, PA school district challenging the school board’s decision to insist that science teachers read a […]

The Decision on Intelligent Design: What did Judge Jones Really Say?

As I indicated in the previous post on this Blog, Judge John Jones, a federal judge (a Republican, and appointed by George W. Bush, in his first term, not only rejected the teaching of intelligent design in science classes, but rebuked the Dover, PA school board, and the perpetuators of Intelligent Design, especially the law […]

Judge Rules Against Intelligent Design in Dover, PA Case

In what might become a landmark case in the cultural wars in science education, Judge John Jones ruled that teaching “intelligent design” would violate the Constitutional separation of church and state. In this Blog, I have written about this case, and other’s that impinge of the teaching of evolution in the public schools. In the […]

Weekend Reading on the Evolution/Creationism/Intelligent Design Issue!

This blog has devoted considerable space to the cultural war that is raging primarily in school districts across the country. The issue is whether creation science, presently disquised as “intelligent design” should be taught along side evolution. Intelligent design folks think that some parts of the world (like the human eye) are too complicated for […]

Evolution is a Theory, Not a Fact?…Dover, PA

Even People Magazine is reporting on the controversy taking place in the Dover, PA school district where 11 Dover parents have sued the district to have the reading of this statement stopped: “Darwin’s theory of evolution is a theory….not a fact…keep an open mind.” I came across Alonzo Fyfe’s blog entry on science vs religion, […]

Teaching Evolution in Church

Several weeks ago, I read an article in the Washington Post, entitled Darwin goes to Church, written by Henry G. Brinton, pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church. In the adult Sunday school classes, David Bush, a member of the church, and a retired government worker is offering a course, “Evolution for Christians.” Being a Christian myself, […]