Title: Discovering Astronomy
This textbook starts where most astronomy students are - here on Earth! It then asks students to think about how the universe looks from the surface of the Earth, with no telescopes, and guides them in a scientific process of deductive logic. The entire book is geared towards inquiry-based learning and spends a significant chunk of the book on pre-Copernican astronomy, moves into Galilean and Newtonian ideas and then into more modern conceptions. It allows students to not simply WATCH the process of scientific discovery, but to EXPERIENCE the process for themselves.
Discovering Astronomy is a college-level introductory astronomy textbook now in its sixth edition. The new edition is not only up-to-date, but continues and expands upon its unique pedagogical features: an emphasis on understanding the nature of science; its use of in-text inquiries; chapter discoveries. The chapter summaries help to emphasize the nature of science by grouping the chapter’s ideas into observations, theory, and conclusions.
New to this edition are Critical Observations, which illustrate specific examples throughout astronomy of how a specific observation allowed astronomers to choose one theory over the competing ideas. End-of-chapter questions have a new section called Putting It All Together containing questions asking the student to evaluate and synthesize ideas. The other end-of-chapter questions, Summary Questions and Applying Your Knowledge, are questions emphasizing other realms of Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive domains.
The sixth edition is available as an electronic textbook readable from any web browser on computer, tablet,or smartphone from anywhere. The savings to students are significant. For those wanting print, a low-cost black and white loose leaf version is available. Being a sixth edition and having had significant previous national reviewing and exposure, high quality is assured.
The advantages of electronic publication, besides low cost, are many. One is compliance with all relevant sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act Section 508. Electronic publication provides readers with substantial interactivity not otherwise possible. For example, links to appropriate information on many topics are present throughout each chapter. With a click, students can observe videos made specifically for this book on important physical concepts. Students can make electronic notes and add bookmarks, and access them instantly with a click. Passages can be highlighted in various colors. Clicking on technical terms brings up the definition from the extensive glossary. Text can be easily searched for information.
This is a course designed to be comprehensive in its coverage of the field and the background information needed to understand astronomy. (Usually a two semester course)