How (and why) to read Scientific Research Papers – a student’s perspective

I distinctly remember my first meeting (about atmospheric chemistry research) and having no idea what was being discussed around me. Up until this point I had no knowledge of CFCs and felt completely out of my depth around those who had read and understood the paper.

After being surrounded by specialist language for an hour, I still couldn’t blag my way through questioning so decided to learn to read a paper in a way I would find easy.

Science Journal Club

A couple of years ago, I started a Science Journal Club for students. The idea is that students read a recent scientific paper in advance of the meeting, and we get together to discuss it. The idea was to help students find out about “real” research, and to teach them how to read scientific papers.

Have we overcomplicated teaching?

Our conclusion was yes- we probably have overcomplicated teaching in some ways. And, although we didn’t always agree with the changes in approach that Jo describes, we have all reflected on our practice this week and asked ourselves what we do , why we do it, and who we do it for. And this was valuable.
I think our take-home message from this session was that we should all think about what we can stop doing, as well as what we can start doing. Yes- we possibly have overcomplicated teaching, and it is right that we question what we do (and why).

Reading Group 1

This year, our Journal Club has been integrated into the new CPD programme, so we have fomed a Reading Group. People can come along and talk about something they’ve read, or listen to others talking about things they’ve found interesting, and it gives us the chance to discuss them. After a slight biscuit-related hitch (I’d forgotten to buy…

Journal Club – Metacognition (part 2)

This post is written by VBA. Metacognition and “thinking about thinking” became a real focus of mine with my Year 10 GCSE class after reading about the low cost – high impact that it can have on a student’s performance in this report from the Educational Endowment Foundation. I followed this up by reading blog articles about teachers who…

Journal Club – Metacognition (part 1)

Post written by: NKA This post summarises ideas that were tried by teachers from the Science department following our initial Journal Club meeting. We had read about how effective metacognition and self-regulation can be in helping students to progress. We wanted to encourage them to self-assess their work, taking time to think through what they’d done and why. We also wanted them to think about…