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Dr. Bonnie Wood to give book signing at UMPI Bookstore

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Dr. Bonnie Wood, a Biology Professor at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, will take part in a book signing event on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the UMPI Bookstore to celebrate the publication of her new book Lecture-Free Teaching: A Learning Partnership Between Science Educators and Their Students.

Dr. Wood, a fulltime faculty member since 1989, garnered a contract in 2007 from major science publisher NSTA [National Science Teachers Association] Press to write a book on her innovative lecture-free teaching strategies. The newly published book will be showcased for the first time to the local region during the Oct. 20 book signing.

Lecture-free teaching, a term Wood coined in 2001, describes the methods she designed and uses in all of the science courses she teaches at the University. During class meetings, students participate in activities as members of cooperative learning groups and employ the scientific process to develop hypotheses, and then design and perform course-related experiments.

According to Wood, the book is a practical guide to lecture-free teaching for both experienced science educators - whose goal is to gradually revise their teaching methods - and also for pre-service and new teachers who are just beginning their careers. The book's 13 chapters, each of which can be used independently, describe how to transform a traditional science lecture class with a separate laboratory into an active learning, inquiry-based format with a constantly evolving, but coherent, curriculum.

"Although many science educators now recognize the benefits of breaking away from traditional lectures and cookbook-style labs, most do not have the time or confidence to independently tackle the task of modifying their courses," Wood said. "This book provides guidance on how to redesign a course so it can become partially or fully lecture-free."

According to the publisher, Lecture-Free Teaching provides readers with an innovative alternative to routine lecturing. With Wood's method, teachers build "learning partnerships" with their students to create more flexible, cooperative learning environments. These partnerships lead to engaged students who participate and share ideas through discussions and in-class activities, such as inquiry-based exercises and case studies.

Dr. Wood will discuss some of the teaching strategies presented in her book during the book signing event.

Lecture-Free Teaching will be available for purchase at the UMPI Bookstore. Refreshments at the event will be provided courtesy of Aramark Food Service. For more information, please contact Greg Doak at the UMPI Bookstore at 768-9571. To learn more about Dr. Wood's book, visit http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781933531328.