Spring 2012 Teaching Journal Club

Jump to Week number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10

The Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club will continue during the spring term exploring methods for improving teaching and increasing students’ science literacy. We will discuss how to apply these ideas to our classrooms. Participants are invited to join the whole series or stop by for a specific conversation.

We will have two meetings for participants to choose from each week:

  • Thursdays at 9:00 am in 225 Streisinger Hall (Novick Room)
  • Fridays at 4:00 pm in 240D Willamette Hall (OCO Conference Room)

Week 1 – April 5 and 6

Reading

Please join us for our first meeting April 5 or 6, where we will discuss our focus and format for the quarter and begin a discussion of our first topic: teaching critical thinking in science. To prepare for the meeting, please have a look at the following short articles:

A Brief Guide for Teaching and Assessing Critical Thinking in Psychology (D. Alan Bensley, APS Observer, 23(10), Dec. 2010)

Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking (B. Potts, Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 4(3) 1994).

Send any questions you may have to Julie Mueller.

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Week 2 – April 12 and 13

Reading

This week at the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, we will focus on the importance of critical evaluation of websites and other information sources. What criteria, if any, do students use in their evaluations? What resources exist to help guide them?

We will frame our discussion around the article Non-Science Majors’ Critical Evaluation of Websites in a Biotechnology Course, by K.L. Halverson, M. A. Siegel, and S. K. Freyermuth (J Sci Educ Technol 19 (2010), 612). This article assesses the criteria non-science majors in a biotechnology course used to evaluate the websites they used in researching a paper about stem-cell research.

Please also have a look at the following links, which contain tips and hints for evaluating information sources. You may find them handy resources to pass on to your students.

Criteria to Evaluate the Credibility of WWW Resources, from a source at George Mason University

Critical Evaluation of Information Resources, from our own UO Libraries!

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Week 3 – April 19 and 20

Reading

The Science Literacy Program is presenting a six-part workshop series geared towards improving teaching methods in undergraduate science courses. Details may be found here.

The first two workshops of the series will be presented on Friday, April 27 by Dr. Stephanie Chasteen (Science Teaching Fellow, UC Boulder), who gave some great workshops at UO last fall. At noon in 107 Klamath, she will talk about What Every Teacher Should Know About Cognitive Research (lunch will be provided!) Her second workshop, at 4 pm in 240D Willamette, is titled “Get the Word Out: Effectively Communicating the Results of Physics Education Research”. To prepare for Dr. Chasteen’s presentations and our discussion on Thursday, please read:

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Week 4 – April 26 and 27

Reading

This week at the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, we will continue our preparations for the upcoming Science Literacy Program workshops. Our conversation will focus on Chapter 3 of a report suggested to us by Dr. Cynthia Bauerle (Senior Program Officer, HHMI), who on Friday, May 4 will be leading the third and fourth workshops in the series. Please come this Friday prepared to discuss the following background reading to Dr. Bauerle’s presentations:

Chapter 3 of the 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Vision and Change Report for undergraduate biology education. To access the full reportclick here.

Recall that the workshops start this week Friday, April 27 with two presentations by Dr. Stephanie Chasteen

  • What Every Teacher Should Know About Cognitive Research, Noon, 107 Klamath (Pizza provided!)
  • Speaking of Science: The Art of Scientific Communication, 4:00 pm, 240D Willamette

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Week 5 – May 3 and 4

Reading

This week at the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, we will prepare for Peggy Brickman’s visit and workshops next week. One of her workshops will focus on using case studies in science teaching, a great technique for engaging non-majors, and one used extensively in business, law, and medicine. To help us prepare for the workshop, please read the book chapter, “Case Studies in Science: A Novel Method of Science Education,” by Clyde Freeman Herreid, from Start With a Story: The Case Study Method of Teaching Science (for information about obtaining a copy of this chapter please contact Julie Mueller.)

Recall that this week’s Science Literacy Project workshops will be given by Dr. Cynthia Bauerle, Senior Program Officer, Howard Hughes Medical Institute:

  • Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology EducationNoon, 240D Willamette
  • Assessment Tools for Transforming Undergraduate Biology Education4:00 pm, 240D Willamette

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Week 6 – May 10 and 11

Reading

At some point in their careers, many instructors will teach as part of a team. This week in the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, we will talk about how to make team-teaching a success for the instructors and students alike. In order to prepare for our meeting, please read:

Please keep in mind that Prof. Peggy Brickman of the University of Georgia will present this week’s Science Literacy Program workshops:

  • Inquiry-Based Curriculum in a College Laboratory Classroom, at noon Friday in 240D Willamette
  • Use of Case-Study Teaching in Science, 4:00 pm Friday in 240D Willamette

If you’re interested in learning how some of your colleagues teach to increase science literacy, join us for a joint TEP/Science Literacy Program workshop:

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Week 7 – May 17 and 18

Reading

We’ve all been there: the teacher tosses out a question and the class is so silent you can hear the crickets chirping. It can be excruciating for everyone involved. And we all know how much more enjoyable class can be when students participate, asking and answering questions and sharing their ideas. What can instructors do to encourage class participation? This week in the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club we will discuss two of the many resources that exist to help in this area. They are:

  • Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in Classroom Discussion, a compilation of contributions to the Teaching Professor Blog.
  • Encouraging Student Participation in Discussion, a chapter from Tools for Teaching, by Barbara Gross Davis

Note also that we have two science teaching-related TEP workshops on tap this week:

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Week 8 – May 24 and 25

Reading

If grading is your favorite part of your job, feel free to delete this email. On the other hand, if you’re interested in learning about a practice that can reduce the amount of time and effort you spend on grading while actually enhancing student learning, read on!

Student self-grading and peer-grading certainly save instructors’ time and have long been touted in the literature as increasing student learning. But do they? And how well do student-assigned grades correlate with those assigned by an instructor? What about issues of academic integrity? We will shape our discussion around these questions at this week’s Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club. To help prepare for the meeting, please read The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning, by Philip M. Sadler and Eddie Good, Educational Assessment 11 (2006), 1-31. The paper is long, but much of it can be lightly skimmed!

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Week 9 – May 31 and June 1

Reading

This week in the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, Steve Fickas will show us the eReader that he and his group are developing. Steve will doubtless correct me, but my understanding is that the eReader is used in conjunction with an electronic textbook or other document, and has various functions designed to help improve students’ reading comprehension. One of the techniques the eReader uses is a questioning strategy (students are asked questions about the reading that require them to process and interpret what they’ve read). To give us a bit more background about this, please have a look at Students’ Comprehension of Science Textbooks Using a Question-Based Reading Strategy, by B. L. Smith, W. G. Holliday, and H. W. Austin, J. Res. Sci. Teaching 2010, 47, 363-379.

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Week 10 – June 7 and 8

Reading

To finish out our year, I thought it would be interesting to have a look at How to Study, a book written in 1917 by George Fillmore Swain. Many of the general principles we have talked about this year are discussed in this 95-year-old book. Feel free to read the whole book (68 short pages) or just dip into the sections you’re interested in. How to Study is available free through Google Books or in a Kindle Edition from Amazon. From what I’ve seen, the Kindle Edition is easier to read and can be viewed using the Cloud Reader through a browser on a PC. No actual Kindle is necessary, though no doubt it is much cooler to use one.

We will also spend some time this week talking about what people envision for next year’s journal club. Should we continue to have more than one meeting to choose from each week? If so, should the two meetings have a similar focus, or should they diverge? Are you interested only in science-specific articles and ideas, or should more basic pedagogy be interspersed? Is a general discussion best, or should different people “present” material each week? These are just a few of the questions we can discuss. Come prepared with your own ideas!

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