People often ask me what they might to read to get started with teaching science at the college level — or they ask for concrete suggestions about how to do active learning efficiently.
So, here are some book suggestions. This list is by no means complete, feel free to add more in the comments.
I think Handelsman et al.’s Scientific Teaching (2007) is spectacular, and is an outgrowth of this article in Science that’s been cited 1000 times.
If I was to suggest one book to those thinking seriously about pedagogy, it would be Ambrose et al (2010), How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. This book goes deep into educational theory, but with a focus on specific practices and approaches, though it isn’t specific to science.
If you’re looking for a description of many ways to do simple active learning approaches, check out Student Engagement Techniques, by Barkley (2010).
If you’re looking for a catalog of evidence of what works, then the National Research Council’s Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering (2015) will be your jam. Also of interest is a 2000 report from the National Research Council, How People Learn. Which is, I realize, almost two decades old, but there are a lot of fundamentals in there that can be of great use for folks who are thinking about teaching.
If you’re serious about teaching biology to undergraduates, then I think the Vision and Change Final Report (2011) from AAAS is a must-read. Its pragmatic antecedent is the 2003 report from the National Research Council, Bio2010.
I have yet to read Felder and Brent’s Teaching and Learning STEM: A Practical Guide (2016), but it looks really promising.
But I don’t really think that there’s a practical and accessible guide out there for scientists who would prefer to get a basic guide to effective science teaching without a heavy dose of educational theory. Which is why I’m now finishing up the Field Guide to College Science Teaching. So stay tuned.