Many years ago, Dr. Robert Klose was giving a lecture on the development of new structures within species. A student asked: “I saw a picture once of a woman with three legs in a porno magazine. Is that evolution?”
And he wasn’t kidding. “That, to me, was a metaphor for a kind of disconnect between science and student perception of what science is,” says Klose.
In “The Three-Legged Woman and Other Excursions in Teaching,” the Christian Science Monitor columnist tackles the subject closest to his heart: teaching. Since 1986, Klose has taught biology at University College of Bangor, an open-admissions college.
“Books on teaching are often written at the expense of the student. I wanted to create something more sympathetic, but I didn’t want to give students a bye on a lot of things that are
real problems — especially in an open-admissions environment,” he explains.
In 40 short, anecdotal essays, Klose attempts to illustrate the redemptive nature of education.
“In many ways, professors and students are speaking different languages. Students are often asking me questions not because they didn’t understand the concepts, but because they didn’t understand the ordinary English I was using. It’s my job to give those students a meaningful biology experience, and I do it with great joy.”