Books that promote critical thinking among science students at undergraduate level

Most undergraduate and post graduate books in India are not well written, promote rote memorization, state board books are just full of errors, you can't even read a page while solving problems without finding errors in the answers given.


A book is not a book, if any statement you pick, does not say something useful, does not allow you to think. In the age of the internet, where data is enormous and easily available, we need a method to extract knowledge from these data.  Books allow presenting information in a form that  we can understand, grasp it as it is written in a concise and precise manner.  We need books that allow not filling the vessel but kindling the flame. Books that promote critical thinking.


Here are some the books which our students and especially teachers need to follow and should be in every library:

Conceptual Physics, by Paul G. Hewitt
The book is very well written, the book almost relate everything in physics with real world examples. You will understand physics with concrete examples rather than just with abstract formulas and equations. Also, it has a practice book equally important. This book is right for understanding physics at the undergraduate and high school level.

Feynman Lectures on Physics
This book also allows understanding physics more intuitively, without giving lots of equations and formulas.

Fundamentals of Physics, Halliday & Resnick
The question of these books are of gold standard, that promotes critical thinking, but as the questions are difficult to solve it requires teachers who can explain to students by breaking down the problem into simpler understandable steps. Also requires more personalized approach, so that every student tries and succeed to solve it, rather than one or two students in the class.

HC Verma- Concepts of Physics
This book is similar to Fundamentals of Physics, with too good questions that promote critical thinking.


Chemistry a Molecular Approach,  Nivaldo J Tro
Very well written book, NCERT chemistry book can't even be compared with it. Not a single statement in it is meaningless and gives chemistry in concise and precise manner.

Organic Chemistry as a Second Language, David Klein (First and Second Semester)
Author has terrifically written the book on organic chemistry. You will understand organic chemistry like never before, and no need to memorize just the equations and reactions day and night which are just a junk for students.

Campbell Biology, Reece, Urry, Cain et. al.
In India, biology is taught in most horrible manner. Biology means how much memory you have, how much memorization you can do, not how much you understand the subject.
This book addresses the problem. You will understand biology and connect it to the real world. The diagrams in it are also wonderful. The questions in it promote inquiry and critical thinking.

Genetics A Conceptual Approach, Benjamin Pierce
Even though it's not for high school students, but a must for undergraduate teachers. Teachers should follow the book and come for an inquiry-based lecture.

Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts
A must for undergraduate and high school teachers. It has also got a problems book which contains gem like questions, which needs to be discussed among the students at the undergraduate and higher secondary level.

Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry
It's another book, which lazy teachers are scared of. But without making an effort to understand biology, how will a teacher promote understanding among students?

Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, Martinin, Nath
Meticulously well-written book of anatomy and physiology, which an undergraduate teacher must follow.

Molecular Biology, Rober F. Weaver
Another phenomenal book that teachers at the undergraduate or above must follow. If you want to teach a student, why scientist think DNA exists,  this book is for you. The book is completely experimental based and gives details about how scientists reached a particular conclusion.

Finally, OpenStax books for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and other..
These books are open source, peer reviewed so, you can contribute to it by providing errors or suggestions, written in a manner that increases curiosity and the book that improves all the time.

India needs to scrap out all the books that do not promote critical thinking/ understanding  and bring international quality books to the libraries. We want our kids who have the ability to think, not memory storing machines.
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