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Robert Bevins
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President of Kentuckians for Science Education. Posts and comments are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Kentuckians for Science Education. Shares, links, friends and follows are not endorsemfents. - Soon to be author of ebook biology study guides.
President of Kentuckians for Science Education. Posts and comments are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Kentuckians for Science Education. Shares, links, friends and follows are not endorsemfents. - Soon to be author of ebook biology study guides.

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English and biology teachers! If you want to do a reading across the curriculum project for high school students, this could be right up your alley. Opportunities abound for creative writing exercises, analysis and evaluation of both news and fiction, and the chance to show students that scientific literacy can be as important as basic literacy for writers, as well as the public at large.

When writing about any subject, it is important to know enough to write about it realistically, which is why many authors consult experts about the details in their stories. The first link unveils a problem with writing satire, in that many people may not realize that it is actually fiction, just close enough to fact that it is mildly believable, but still outrageous enough that it makes us ask, "Is this really true?"

A site going by the very official sounding name, "The National Report" has been putting out fake stories about Ebola outbreaks in Texas. These posts get shared and passed around social media, driving traffic to the fake news site, leading to confusion as to what is actually happening, and in some cases causing people to think that the situation is far worse than it actually is. Such stories are facebook's version of emails warning us about the risk of drinking with people we don't know, or we might wake up in a bathtub filled with ice and a note to call 911, as your kidneys have been stolen.

http://ift.tt/1tL6GDG 

In the second link, Dr. Tara Smith discusses how a The Hot Zone, a "true story" account of Ebola outbreaks, has made it more difficult to get accurate information about Ebola out to the public. The Hot Zone sensationalized the virus, how it can be spread, and what it does to the body. As a bestseller this book sets the tone for much of the public discussion of Ebola, and can lead many people to think that they understand Ebola far better than they actually do. After all, they did read the "true story." This can be contrasted with a factual source (again, Dr. Smith's blog is an excellent resource).

Personally, I think Ebola is plenty scary in its real form, and needs no help from authors dressing it up as a monster hiding under the bed, capable of liquefying organs instead of simply infecting them, resulting in their failure.

http://ift.tt/1x3ZwaP 

Of course, this isn't age appropriate for all audiences, as hemorrhagic fevers are frightening enough to send otherwise rational people to call for quarantining whole nations, 22 million people, when the most recent estimate of currently infected people is around 9000. Examining satire as literature (make sure to bring up Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal) could make for a good subject for a middle school, along with the unintentional effects when it is taken seriously. Discussing the biology, both fact and fiction, of Ebola is probably better suited to older students, high schoolers and undergrads. Finally, if your class includes people with family ties to any of the nations affected by Ebola, past or present, it may be better to find a different topic. - RB
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Important article from Dr. Jo Handelsman, an advocate pedagogical training for graduate students and current college and university level educators. Dr. Handelsman is also one of the authors of Scientific Teaching, a book that every scientist that is teaching, but never was taught how to teach, needs.

Scientists need to approach teaching as a scientific and evidence based endeavor. We can be better educators and do more to help our students understand and retain the material we teach longer than the next exam.

#science #scienceeducation #education

http://cst.yale.edu/sites/default/files/HHMIPerspective2003_0.pdf

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If you are in Kentucky, sign and share. If you have friends in Kentucky, share and tag them. We need to be louder than anti-science and anti-public education groups.
Please sign and share. 

Thank you. This is one of the ways that we will hold on to our hard fought gains for #science  #education. #NGSS   #evolution   #climate

Post has shared content
If you are in Kentucky, sign and share. If you have friends in Kentucky, share and tag them. We need to be louder than anti-science and anti-public education groups.
Please sign and share. 

Thank you. This is one of the ways that we will hold on to our hard fought gains for #science  #education. #NGSS   #evolution   #climate

Post has shared content
Please sign and share. 

Thank you. This is one of the ways that we will hold on to our hard fought gains for #science  #education. #NGSS   #evolution   #climate

Post has shared content
If you are in Kentucky, sign and share. If you have friends in Kentucky, share and tag them. We need to be louder than anti-science and anti-public education groups.
Please sign and share. 

Thank you. This is one of the ways that we will hold on to our hard fought gains for #science  #education. #NGSS   #evolution   #climate

Post has shared content
If you are in Kentucky, sign and share. If you have friends in Kentucky, share and tag them. We need to be louder than anti-science and anti-public education groups.
Please sign and share. 

Thank you. This is one of the ways that we will hold on to our hard fought gains for #science  #education. #NGSS   #evolution   #climate

Post has shared content
If you are in Kentucky, sign and share. If you have friends in Kentucky, share and tag them. We need to be louder than anti-science and anti-public education groups.
Please sign and share. 

Thank you. This is one of the ways that we will hold on to our hard fought gains for #science  #education. #NGSS   #evolution   #climate
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