The book is aimed at the general public and seeks to dispel many popular misconceptions about the nature of science, suggest a model for why science works so well even though we cannot prove its theories to be true, and provide better arguments to combat the current anti-science trends in so many areas (climate change, vaccinations, intelligent design, etc.) that threaten serious harm.
There has been very little progress in closing the Black/White achievement gap in education. Here, author Mano Singham takes a look at this problem in the context of larger political realities and contends that in order to understand this gap, we must determine what is happening within the educational system as a whole. The Achievement Gap in U.S. Education examines: Why learning is viewed negatively by students, Why good teaching practices are relatively rare in U.S. schools, Why poor teaching practices occur more frequently in minority and poor districts, Why the accountability movement and its emphasis on high-stakes tests will fail to produce improvements. This book identifies: Factors that lead to widespread underachievement, Professional development programs necessary to produce good teaching practices, Negative political and social consequences of the achievement gap, Common myths about its cause such as socio-economic status, social pathologies, and biology, Success stories where the gap has been closed or narrowed dramatically. This book will be of interest to teachers, school administrators, parents, members of minority groups, and anyone else interested in improving education. The suggested solutions to this problem are such that almost all stakeholders in education can support them and will benefit from them.
In God vs. Darwin, Mano Singham dissects the legal battle between evolution and creationism in the classroom beginning with the Scopes Monkey trial in 1925 and ending with an intelligent design trial in Dover, Pennsylvania, in 2005. A publicity stunt, the Scopes Monkey trial had less to do with legal precedence than with generating tourism dollars for a rural Tennessee town. But the trial did successfully spark a debate that has lasted more than 80 years and simply will not be quelled despite a succession of seemingly definitive court decisions. In the greatest demonstration of survival, opposition to the teaching of evolution has itself evolved. Attempts to completely eliminate the teaching of evolution from public schools have given way to the recognition that evolution is here to stay, that explicitly religious ideas will never be allowed in public schools, and that the best that can be hoped for is to chip away at the credibility of the theory of evolution. Dr. Singham deftly answers complex questions: Why is there such intense antagonism to the teaching of evolution in the United States? What have the courts said about the various attempts to oppose it? Sprinkled with interesting tidbits about Charles Darwin and the major players of the evolution vs. creationism debate, God vs. Darwin is charming in its embrace of the strong passions aroused from the topic of teaching evolution in schools.