Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6½ x 9¾
978-1-4422-0951-0 • Hardback • September 2011 • $120.00 • (£92.00)
978-1-4422-0952-7 • Paperback • September 2011 • $50.00 • (£38.00)
978-1-4422-0953-4 • eBook • October 2011 • $47.50 • (£37.00)
Fernando Espinoza is associate professor of chemistry and physics and director of graduate education programs at the School of Education at SUNY College at Old Westbury. He is also on the faculty of physics and astronomy at Hofstra University. Currently, he is also a member of the editorial review board for Scientific Journals International, Science Education Review, and Research in Science Education.
Chapter 1: The Need for Scientific Literacy
Chapter 2: The Origins of Accomplishing Tasks: From Individual to Organized Efforts
Chapter 3: The Earliest Comprehensive and Rationalistic Syntheses
Chapter 4: Knowing, Doing and the Inevitability of Curiosity and Exploration
Chapter 5: From the Transcendent to the Temporal - A Transformative Experience
Chapter 6: From Qualities to Quantities: The Mathematization of Nature
Chapter 7: Internalizing Naturalistic Explanations: Benefit or Threat?
Chapter 8: Dispensing with Philosophy and Entertaining Limits to Human Knowledge
Chapter 9: Scientifically Speaking, We Know a Lot—or Do We?
Chapter 10: The Need for a Context
Chapter 11: The Rightful Place of Science in Society
Chapter 12: Concluding Reflections
About the Author
Espinoza (SUNY College at Old Westbury) has demonstrated expertise in the fields of science and education and has published widely. His goal in this book is to give students and others a context for understanding science from the traditional scholarly standpoint and also from a more general perspective. By definition, science is a body of knowledge that increases at a pace that makes it virtually impossible for anyone to fully master. Nevertheless, it is important for citizens to know how science is used and for what purposes. The author's approach is to see science as a general type of knowledge with distinctive characteristics that it shares with other forms of human knowledge. Students and the general public need a broader sort of background knowledge to comprehend and more importantly, to apply the concepts that constitute such a generalized form of scientific literacy. To accomplish this, it is necessary to consider science's origins and development, as well as its practice. The book first deals with science's historical and philosophical aspects and then addresses the sociological aspects that are the inevitable consequence of its applications. The book's content and writing is of the highest quality, and the organization is superb. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic and general audiences.
— Choice Reviews
The book offers a timely reminder of the tremendous advance in and limitations of science's grasp of reality. The author shows how the teaching of science needs to be aware of the historical, philosophical, and sociological contexts of scientific practice. Especially informative is the author's discussion of how to understand the role of mathematics in modern science's encounter with the world. The book will serve as a useful guide for science teachers.
— William E. Carroll, Aquinas Fellow in Theology and Science, Blackfriars, University of Oxford
A significant goal of modern science education, and also one of our major challenges, is to enhance students' understanding of the nature of science. Espinoza presents a novel and comprehensive perspective on this topic in a sophisticated, multidisciplinary perspective that is practical and timely, suitable for a broad audience of science educators or anyone interested in a liberally-informed perspective on how scientists think and do their work.
— O. R. Anderson, chair, mathematics, science, and technology, Columbia University, Teachers College
Fernando Espinoza writes in an accessible manner that invites deep thinking through thought provoking questions in the items for reflection section at the end of each chapter. The book traces the history of science from the ancients to modern day and focuses on why we know what we know. He ties together important elements in science, starting with history and moving to philosophy.
— Erica M. Brownstein, NSTA Program Coordinator, Capital University
Fernando Espinoza takes an approach we do not often find in science literature....Items for reflection and references...work as good points of departure for students looking to do further research or teachers looking for topics for writing assignments....There is much here that teachers can grab onto and incorporate into their classes.
— NSTA Recommends
—Incorporates mandates by national organizations such as the National Research Council, National Science Teachers Association, and American Association for the Advancement of Science
—Discusses topics used in nature of science courses, a requirement for general education courses
—Includes items for reflections at the end of each chapter
• Winner, CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title (2012)