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Why Science?

James Trefil

224 pages
Teachers College Press
With conviction and clarity, prize-winning scientist and bestselling author James Trefil explains why everyone needs to be “scientifically literate” and, therefore, why our schools must teach the fundamental principles of scientific literacy to every student. He lays out these principles straightforwardly, so that educators—and everyone who is interested in education—can understand exactly what they are. Trefil knows that initiating a national scientific literacy program won’t be easy, but he convincingly argues that it is essential to our national future. After reading this book, you will agree that, whatever the cost of teaching scientific literacy, we simply can’t afford not to heed his advice. In this enjoyable read, Trefil, a well-known critic of the status quo in science education: Explains why today’s science education is insufficient for tomorrow’s needs. Tackles the key topics of scientific literacy and explains how to teach them. Confronts headline issues, including stem cell research, global warming, cloning, and intelligent design. Shows why science education is essential to an informed citizenry and how scientific literacy is achievable. Suggests a middle way between the two prevailing approaches to science education: “deep and narrow” vs. “broad but shallow.”
Author Bio
James Trefil is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University. His books include The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, 1001 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Science, and Are We Unique? A Scientist Explores the Human Mind.