Teaching the Anatomy of a Scientific Journal Articleby: Kimberly D. Tanner, Jeffrey N. Schinske, Karen Clayman, and Allison K. Busch

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To promote inquiry-based learning, the authors integrate the anatomy of a scientific journal article into their secondary science curriculum. In this article, they present three classroom activities used to teach students about the function and format of scientific journal articles. The first focuses on journal article figures, the second on journal abstracts, and in the third, students produce their own journal articles, which are based on their investigations.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:17 PM

The method that the authors describe to incorporate parts of scientific journals into high school science classes is quite helpful to the classroom teacher looking to help his or her students with science literacy. As a classroom teacher, I believe the sooner one can introduce their students to scientific journals, the better it is to reduce the stigma that science journals are too difficult or boring to read. Immersing your students in scientific journals also helps them better understand the nature of scientific understanding.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:20 AM

This article addresses the need for students to be able to read and understand professional scientific journal articles, be able to identify the question of inquiry behind them, as well as create and share their own professional scientific journal writings. The authors describe three activities which aid students in the process of understanding and publishing scientific works: first, students analyze an article from a professional science journal, next, they analyze a journal abstract, and lastly, students independently compose an article, to be published and shared with classmates as well as placed in the school library as resource for others. Much of the multi-part project was based on student inquiry and personal interest, thus initiating and furthering student motivation in the project. Upon completion, the teachers involved created a postassessment, in which they measured student achievement, and in which the students shared their opinions of the experience. It was found that the vast majority of students found the experience to be very beneficial, in that they expressed feelings of it being an overall positive experience, and found that they were able to identify article authors' initial inquiry based questions, interests, etc. In the postassessment, teachers also found that the vast majority successfully completed all components of the project, and were able to identify signs of growth throughout the students' works. Reading professional journal articles adds a great amount of insight into a discipline, as does publication of one's own work, but it may not necessarily happen as often in schools, and certainly students are not exposed to it until later grades. This article showed a great example of successful integration of journal articles into the science curriculum, and provided practitioners with a very clear picture of how to make the integration possible in their own classrooms.

Vicky J
Vicky J

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