Stephen Shawl

Stephen Shawl

brings decades of teaching experience and textbook writing to the newest edition of Discovering Astronomy. His experiences of teaching undergraduate students at all levels were shaped by numerous Chautauqua short courses and other workshops for college teachers that he attended. Starting in the seventies, he integrated peer undergraduate tutors into his teaching of introductory astronomy and continued to use them throughout his career. He was a pioneer at the University of Kansas in the use of student response systems to increase student involvement in their learning. As an extension of his interest in teaching, he was the principal investigator for an astronomy workshop for junior high and middle school science teachers. His textbook writing career began in writing test banks and instructor’s manuals for many editions of an introductory astronomy textbook before he was asked in 1990 to write the third edition of the unique textbook Discovering Astronomy; he has been the first author in producing its later editions. He was a member of the Education Advisory Board of the American Astronomical Society and served as the Chairman of their Working Group on Astronomy Education. Now a professor emeritus at the University of Kansas, during retirement he has taught at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College in Tucson. Educated at the University of California at Berkeley in the early 1960s and the University of Texas at Austin, he received his Ph.D. in 1972. Immediately after receiving his doctorate, he joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas. Research interests involved the study of the fundamental properties of globular star clusters, the presence of gas and dust in these clusters, and cool variable stars whose light is sometimes polarized.

Stephen Shawl

Emeritus Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas

Publications

  • Shawl, Stephen, Byrd, Gene, Deustua, Susana, LoPresto, Michael. Discovering Astronomy.