An Innovative Approach to Science Instruction

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Session 5 -- Education
Display presentation, Monday, 9, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[5.02] An Innovative Approach to Science Instruction

Bernard McNamara, Chris Burnham, Bill Bridges (NMSU)

This paper reports on the results of a multi-year NSF project aimed at undergraduate instruction in astronomy. Its goal is to help incoming university students, particularly from minority groups, develop critical thinking skills and a better understanding of basic scientific principles. The project employs the techniques of ``Writing Across the Curriculum" to counter student math and science anxiety. It employs a workbook consisting of four sections: (1) basic skills exercises, (2) an evolving cosmology, (3) chapter reading responses, and (4) an astronomical scrapbook. Experience with this workbook in introductory astronomy classes at NMSU is discussed, along with suggestions on how the exercises can be incorporated into beginning astronomy classes at other universities.

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