Chuck Downing, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor, Writing

Chuck Downing began teaching at Monte Vista High School in 1973. He was department chair from 1981- 1995 and twice received Golden Apple Awards by student voting. He has been "San Diego County Teacher of the Year" and won the CIBA-GEIGY Award for Excellence in Science Teaching from NSTA. He was a Christa McAuliffe Fellow in 1992, and he won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1993. In 1994 he was named as a participant in Access Excellence for Biology teachers. In 1996 he received his Ph.D. in Education from Walden University and accepted an Associate Professorship in Education at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) and was promoted to full professor in 2000. While at PLNU, he was Director of Teacher Education and taught Foundational Exploration Biology (lab always and lecture/lab twice) for the Biology Department. From 2004-2012, he taught science at Great Oak High School in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. Chuck retired from K-12 teaching in June 2012. In October of 2014, he was elected as part of the inaugural class to the Monte Vista High School Hall of Fame. Dr. Downing is a co-author of CRANIAL CREATIONS in Life Science and CRANIAL CREATIONS in Physical Science by J. Weston Walch, Publishers. This two-book series of creative exercises emphasizes critical thinking through a variety of strategies. Additionally, he has designed Descendent Disks, a genetic simulation activity for students using human genetic traits as the basis of the "game" and Cole Slaw Chemistry, a series of activities using red cabbage juice as a pH indicator, and Biome Bags, an inquiry-based investigation of flora and fauna in world biomes. These kits and two kinesthetic experiential activities Cruisin’ the Circulatory System, Kinesthetic Protein Synthesis are marketed by Science Kit-Boreal Laboratories. Ward's Biology markets a problem-solving, forensic-based laboratory skills assessment kit, Mystery at 323 Maple. He is principal author/editor of a 4-volume series of integrated science books, Making Connections, published by the Grossmont Union High School District, but now out of print. Peoples Education published AP Biology: Inquiry-infused Laboratory Investigations and Activities with Thinking and Writing Skills, in August of 2010. His first science fiction novel, Traveler’s HOTL, was named Best Science Fiction Novel of 2014 USA Best Book Awards. He now has a total of 11 fiction and non-fiction books in print t. A book for teachers and improving teaching methods, Tune Up Your Teaching & Turn On Student Learning, co-authored with Dr. JoAnn Jurchan, by Morgan James Publishing is now available, as well. Dr. Downing is a frequent speaker at science conferences at the local, state, and national levels. Topics covered by his workshops include critical thinking, creative assignments, integration of curriculum, adding inquiry to laboratory exercises, “bringing about closure,” the importance of kinesthetic activities, and effective questioning techniques. His consulting company, Engage in Science, provides professional development opportunities for school districts nationwide. He was active in a variety of teaching and administrative positions at Spring Valley Church of the Nazarene from 1967-1993. He currently serves as Adult Bible Study Fellowship Teacher at Mission Church of the Nazarene in San Diego, California. Married to Leanne since 1971, the couple has two adult sons and two granddaughters: Hadley and Harper!