“Reason […] has wilted under the weight of so much knowledge and little by little has lost the capacity to lift its gaze to the heights, not daring to rise to the truth of being.”John Paul II. Fides et Ratio #5. The Holy See, 14 Sept. 1998
For Sr. Mary Honorata Grzeszczuk, this statement leads to a question of knowledge integration, that seems to be overlooked in undergraduate science classes.
In the age of such great technological advancement, the volume of knowledge that is expected to be taught in college level science courses increases exponentially. Little or no time and e¢ort is reserved for students to integrate their knowledge. In effect, science becomes merely equivalent to facts and theories and does not lead to growth toward the truth. The emerging question is, how do we help young people who enter the field of science to integrate knowledge so they can “gaze to the heights,” see beyond facts, and become leaders in their fields?
Sr. Honorata sees mindfulness and reflection as tools of knowledge integration and, therefore, an indispensable part of the learning process. In her recent Physics Lab Workbook published by KendallHunt in 2023 and created for the undergraduate introductory physics courses, brief mindfulness exercises are interwoven with physics formulas, tables and diagrams. Focused on the process of learning rather than on the knowledge itself, the book facilitates developing students’ professional identities rather than only learning.
Another noteworthy feature of the Physics Lab Workbook is in its innovative hybrid format. Each lab is accompanied by an online instruction that can be opened by students on a phone or tablet. Existing lab manuals repeat textbooks introducing laboratory exercises, increasing the volume and, hence, the price of lab manuals. Instead of repeating physics textbooks, Sr. Honorata focuses on the laboratory procedure in her Physics Lab Workbook. Ready-made tables save time, so students can direct their attention to the hands-on activities and mastering their lab skills.
Find Sr. Honorata’s blog: Physics Lab — a Good Place to Do Physics at physicsfel.blogspot.com