Reviewed by Claudia Fetters
retired biology and earth science teacher
This is an excellent collection of discrepant events that could be used in a physical science or Earth science classroom to help students understand difficult concepts. Each section is clear and concise, describing the concept to be covered and activity to be done.
Written by a professor with experience in teaching K–12 as well as future educators, the book includes complete, ready-to-use activities. Each has a title, an expected outcome, and explanations of the science concepts being examined. Science education concepts are also addressed, and this is followed by a list of materials. Procedures include clear safety recommendations and sample questions to ask students, and extensions and internet connections are included. The book would benefit from some reproducible pages for students to help teachers use these activities, but it's still worthwhile.
The first section explores the use of analogies, mobius strips, and the trick of burning a candle at both ends as an introduction to the use of discrepant events. The next section focuses on perception with activities such as optical illusions, sounds, and smells. The final and largest section includes discrepant events for a number of commonly taught concepts: batteries, convection, magnetic fields, currents, and Cartesian divers, to name just a few. The emphasis is on what kinds of learning activities work best with students and on how to convey new ways of thinking.
The book contains references to the National Science Education Standards and a complete list of references as well. It's highly recommended for any physical science teacher.
Review posted on 4/13/2010