Cover: Making Scientists: Six Principles for Effective College Teaching, from Harvard University PressCover: Making Scientists in HARDCOVER

Making Scientists

Six Principles for Effective College Teaching

Add to Cart

Product Details


$29.00 • £23.95 • €26.00

ISBN 9780674052925

Publication Date: 03/05/2013


304 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

4 line illustrations, 3 graphs, 3 tables


Light and Micari offer an excellent guide to ‘making scientists.’—Averil Macdonald, Times Higher Education

Making Scientists is a valuable contribution to the growing debate about how best to educate the scientists and citizens of tomorrow.—Donald F. Calbreath, New York Journal of Books

This insightful work argues for reform of collegiate science teaching methods in clear, well-reasoned points. Light and Micari, director and associate director, respectively, of Northwestern University’s Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, share the history, motivation, and successes of their Gateway Science Workshop (GSW) and Science Research Workshop (SRW) approach to teaching undergraduate science courses. The goal of GSW and SRW is to make all students ‘feel that in some limited sense they are scientists,’ not just cramming for exams. Their method relies on leaving behind the lecture-style teaching methods that have been leaving students behind—especially those already underrepresented in the sciences—for years, and instead bringing students together in mentored, small groups to solve meaningful problems. The authors see their approach as a way to move beyond learning as a ‘reproducing experience and seeing it as a transforming experience.’ The authors explain how to set up programs similar to those at Northwestern and outline the overall approach, as well as suggest details such as the ideal group size and how to train mentors. The authors are well equipped to dispute any potential naysayers with simple ideas that teaching faculty can put into use right away with little or no strain on budget or planning time, and most chapters wrap up with useful ‘Suggestions for Practice.’Publishers Weekly

A major contribution to our understanding of deep versus surface learning. This study of the Gateway Science Workshop Program at Northwestern helps us see how effective it is to engage students in doing science from the beginning, and offers an innovative way to do it.—Ken Bain, author of What the Best College Students Do

Many university leaders talk about helping a diverse group of students succeed in science—this project actually does it. Most scholars agree it is critical to evaluate teaching innovations—this project does it with rigor. Most university leaders try to make successful innovations part of campus life—this book describes how Northwestern succeeds. Other campuses can learn much from the practical and inspiring lessons in this important book.—Richard Light, author of Making the Most of College

Light and Micari lucidly explain how to teach science in a meaningful way. They do so by highlighting six important, and readily implemented, principles of learning. A must-read for anyone involved in science education!—Eric Mazur, Harvard University

This book is a great addition to the literature on peer-led workshops in undergraduate STEM education. It shows how to design learning environments that harness the power of peer mentoring to produce integrated learning and use peer facilitated group work to transform undergraduate students into scientists.—Pratibha Varma-Nelson, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, by Donovan Moore, from Harvard University Press

The Most Famous Astronomer You’ve Never Heard Of

Despite her pioneering contributions to science, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin has not always been recognized as one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century. In What Stars Are Made Of, Donovan Moore sets out to change this, with the first full biography of this trailblazing scientist. To celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are pleased to highlight five

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.