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Discovery-based Learning in the Life Sciences (Paperback) (Kathleen M. Susman)

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For nearly a decade, scientists, educators, and policy makers have issued a call to college biology professors to transform undergraduate life sciences education. As a gateway science for many undergraduate students, biology courses are crucial to address many of the challenges we face, such as climate change, sustainable food supply and fresh water, and emerging Public health issues.

While canned laboratories and cook book approaches to college science education do teach students to operate equipment, make accurate measurements, and work well with numbers, they do not teach students how to take a scientific approach to an area of interest about the natural world. Science is more than just techniques, measurements, and facts; science is critical thinking and interpretation, which are essential to scientific research.

Discovery-Based Learning in the Life Sciences presents a different way of organizing and developing biology teaching laboratories to promote both deep learning and understanding of core concepts, while still teaching the creative process of science.

In eight chapters, this text guides undergraduate instructors in creating their own discovery-based experiments. The first chapter introduces the text, delving into the necessity of science education reform. The chapters that follow address pedagogical goals and desired outcomes, incorporating discovery-based laboratory experiences, realistic constraints on such laboratory experiments, model scenarios, and alternative ways to enhance student understanding. The book concludes with a reflection on four imperatives in life science research-- climate, food, energy, and health-- and how we can use these laboratory experiments to address them.

Discovery-Based Learning in the Life Sciences is an invaluable guide for undergraduate instructors in the life sciences aiming to revamp their curriculum, inspire their students, and prepare them for careers as educated global citizens.

Provides several concrete and implementable discovery-driven laboratory schemes that faculty can adopt for their own courses

Expands upon how one can go about revising or changing an existing course curriculum to incorporate a discovery-based approach

Explores novel approaches to unify classroom content goals with student experiential approaches to learning the processes of science that are found in the laboratory

Gives examples of successful approaches at both the introductory and the intermediate levels of instruction in the life sciences that can be readily adapted for use in multiple settings

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