The Art and Science of Lecture Demonstration

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As a means of conveying the excitement of science from one generation to the next, the lecture demonstration is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of the modern science teacher. The interest of the young aspiring scientist is aroused not by dull textbook recitation, but by the enthusiastic lecturer with a range of demonstrations that illustrate the importance of science in the real world.

In this lucid and entertaining book, Professor Taylor explores the origins of lecture demonstration and its development to the present day, emphasizing the underlying principles and the lessons to be learned. Set alongside the work of the most eminent of his predecessors, Michael Faraday and Lawrence Bragg, Taylor's book should find a worthy place among the literature of popular science. The Art and Science of Lecture Demonstration will be useful to all those with a serious amateur or professional interest in the teaching of science, from primary school to university and beyond.

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Editorial Reviews

J. G. Jones
...those concerned for the quality of science education will wish to have it on their shelves.
Nicef British Journal of Educational Technology
J. P. Glusker
This book is so well written that it was a pleasure to read...warmly recommended to all those interested in communicating their love of science to others.
Acta Crystallographica
Jeremy Cimino
Charles Taylor has done all lecturers a valuable service in distilling his wealth of knowledge about lecture demonstrations into this fascinating book. It begins with an analysis of the history of the lecture demonstration and then describes in detail the science behind the art. This will be an invaluable books to those wishing to develop their demonstrating abilities -and might even inspire capable lecturers to do more.
S. G. Boydell
This is a splendid and timely book! It should be in the personal library of anyone who gives lecture demonstrations, and should certainly be part of the professional library of school and university science departments.
Australian Science Teachers Journals
The demonstrations which have traditionally punctuated scientific lectures, and which remain as welcome as they are rare even when the subject matter is advanced, can at their best make points stick indelibly in the mind, and at their (too frequent) worst subvert not only the speaker but also his science. The author of the present volume is associated with the Royal Institution, is therefore a modern inheritor of the Faraday tradition, and a man who has throughout a long career given much thought to the effective design and use of lecture demonstrations. Here he shares the fruit of that experience and thought. Treats gracefully and in useful detail the history, theory and practice of the art. A unique contribution to the pedagogical literature, full of wisdom. (NW) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780852743232
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/1988
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1. The growth of the art: Origins; Demonstration in the 18th century; Demonstration in the early part of the 19th century; Demonstration in the latter part of the 19th century; Controversy about the value of demonstrations; Demonstration in the 20th century; The Royal Institution of Great Britian; Demonstration in distance-learning projects; Interactive science centres; The use of drama. Part 2. The science behind the art: What is a demonstration? Problems of information transfer; Audience psychology; Visual aids and educational technology; The use of film and video-recording; Closed circuit television; Microcomputers and interactive video disc. Part 3. The practice of the art: Getting started; The importance of preparation; The importance of visibility; The importance of presentation; The problems of the travelling lecturer; How demonstrations evolve; Dealing with disasters; Dealing with different age-groups; Audience participation; Safety.

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