The nonprofit Astronomical Society of the Pacific has published the papers, handouts, and resource guides from a national conference, held in August 2007, on the most effective ways of teaching the introductory astronomy course for non–science majors. The publication is titled Cosmos in the Classroom 2007: Papers and Handouts from a Hands-On Symposium on Teaching Introductory Astronomy and is edited by Andrew Fraknoi.
Cosmos in the Classroom 2007 is a 265-page volume in a three-hole-punched loose-leaf format. The volume features 73 contributions by more than 100 experienced instructors and is divided into the following categories:
1. Astronomy Education Research
2. Teaching Techniques
3. Laboratory Exercises, Demonstrations, and Observing Activities
4. Online Teaching and Telescopes
5. Interdisciplinary Approaches
6. Debunking Pseudoscience
7. Resources for Teaching and Learning
8. Other Educational Topics
The volume is designed for university, college, and high school faculty who teach the beginning astronomy course and includes practical advice, reviews of instructional tools, curriculum guides, and class activities that teachers can put to direct use. A special feature is the inclusion of discussion summaries on such topics as:
• Whether you should have a separate lab course
• What we need from textbooks
• What topics to drop from a one-semester course
• Special challenges of being a part-time instructor
• Running an on-campus planetarium
• Teaching astronomy online
For the full table of contents, see http://www.astrosociety.org/events/cosmos/cosmos07/cosmos07toc.pdf.
Cosmos in the Classroom 2007: Papers and Handouts from a Hands-On Symposium on Teaching Introductory Astronomy. Andrew Fraknoi, ed. 2008. 265 pp. San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific. $39.95 plus shipping. Loose-leaf format with three-hole punch.
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