A growing body of educational research shows, as evidenced by this text, that storytelling is an effective teaching tool. The book provides 50 scientific discovery stories that reinforce the content generally taught in high school and college introductory biology courses. The author writes with the intent that faculty will read stories to students and follow up with a class conversation about the reading. Critical-thinking discussion questions are provided for each story. A section on how to use the book is included in the introduction. . . Effort has been devoted to addressing issues of diversity and equity in the breadth of selected stories, and most stories focus on contemporary issues at the intersection of biology and society. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates. Students in two-year technical programs. General readers.
Stories are the life-blood of great teaching. When we introduce students to real life scenarios, they get it---the relevance of their classwork to the world at large. If you want true stories of science that will excite the imagination of students, this is the collection that will do it. Open these pages and I guarantee you will be invigorated and charmed by new adventures for the classroom.
Everyone loves stories; science, not so much. But embed biological concepts and topics in compelling narratives, and everything changes. Readers are hooked. That’s what Mike Tveten has accomplished in Biology Stories: 50 Stories for the Teaching and Learning of Biology. From history (Alexei Romanov’s hemophilia and Genghis Khan’s Y) to celebrity (Charlie Chaplain’s blood type and Sigmund Freud’s cancer) to biology’s greatest hits (the endosymbiotic theory and the invention of PCR) to the familiar (the magic of maple syrup and dangers of high-fructose corn syrup), BioStories offers a selection of eclectic topics that illuminate the basic concepts of life science. The stories follow a general introductory biology textbook’s table of contents, with minimal pedagogy (concept tie-in, teacher’s notes, questions for further thought) to interrupt the flow. Students will love it!
Many educators recognize the value of storytelling in the classroom but aren’t sure how to do it themselves. Mike Tveten’s Biology Stories is an excellent resource for such teachers. It provides a wealth of interesting and relevant materials that can easily be integrated into the biology classroom.
I would strongly encourage any teacher of biology (or any discipline really) to just let these stories wash over you and help stimulate your thinking on how to make your subjects come to life. There is a reason Hollywood turns stories into a multi-million dollar industry. Stories stick, they inspire, they motivate, they engage, and they open up new imaginings! This book will have you moving from the scripted stories contained in these pages to your own powerful narratives in no time, and your students on the edge of their seats!
Tveten clearly wants to help teachers connect to students. This collection of stories in biology will provide a great resource as teachers try to convince students of the importance of studying biology.