Reviewed by Marc Zucker
Many teachers should find a place for this book in their curriculum. The authors describe it as a "storybook of case studies that show critical thinking in action" and explain that using such stories helps students put science and its methods into context. They divide the book into general sections, such as "Historical Cases" and "Science and the Media." Each contains numerous chapters based on a distinct case study. The background case includes many parts, each followed by numerous questions for the students to answer. Following each case there are teaching notes, classroom management, references, and other useful sections.
While there are many chapters that relate to specific science content that teachers will find appropriate, the book's focus is not on facts. The emphasis throughout is on critical thinking. Teachers should find the section “Common Student Misconceptions” particularly useful and of great help with their presentation of the material.
Most importantly, most of the cases are timely and should be interesting to both teachers and students alike. There are numerous black–and–white pictures and graphs throughout; notes about teaching methods and classroom management, the book is especially practical. The intention is that teachers will cull from the book sections that they feel are appropriate and present them separate from the book.
Unfortunately, the inability to use material directly from the book (in electronic format) without copying it over by hand takes a bit away from the functionality of the book, but fortunately not from its value.
Review posted on 4/25/2012