Off the Shelf: Education Professor Randy Bell Co-Edits New Book for Science Teachers

Jan. 30 --- A new book published by the National Science Teachers Association serves as a compact, easy-to-understand orientation for science teachers to successful methods of teaching science to middle and high school students. Randy Bell, associate professor of science education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, co-edits the book, "Science as Inquiry in the Secondary Setting," that aims to provide ways of guiding discussion, fostering reflection and helping teachers enhance classroom practices while improving student science literacy.

Inquiry is a term used in education that refers to a way of questioning, seeking knowledge or information, or finding out about phenomena. It includes using the methods used by scientists themselves.

As chapter author Mark Windschitl writes, "The aim of doing more authentic science in schools is not to mimic scientists, but to develop the depth of content knowledge, the habits of mind, and the critical reasoning skills that are so crucial to basic science literacy."

Co-editor Randy Bell is a former middle and high school science teacher and has been recognized as the National Association for Research in Science Teaching's Early Career Researcher of the Year. The other co-editor is Julie Luft, a professor of science education at Arizona State University-Tempe, who was also a middle and high school life sciences and physical science teacher.

See the NSTA Science Store Web site at