29 Jun 2015

Learning Science! Think Like a Researcher!

Literature Discussion

Submitted by Christina McCartha, Newberry College
Categories
Description: 

Class activity: 

An introduction to research, both laboratory and scientific literature.

Before Class:  Read the essay by Martin Schwartz entitled “The importance of stupidity in scientific research”, Journal of Cell Science, 2008, 1771.  http://jcs.biologists.org/content/121/11/1771.full.pdf

Introductory Class Discussion:

Explain examples of instances while learning science in high school that you or someone else (NO names please) have encountered difficulties with scientific concepts or solving scientific problems encountered in lab or on homework and exams.

Explain examples of instances while learning science in college that you or someone else (NO names please) have encountered difficulties with scientific concepts or solving scientific problems encountered in lab or on homework and exams.

Describe differences in scientific learning from high school to college.

In class:  Work in groups of 3-4.

Discuss your thoughts on the phrase “productively stupid”.   Discuss how learning is achieved in science.  How are discoveries made?

On the whiteboards diagram your group’s thoughts about the process of learning science.

Class Discussion after groupwork.

Homework reflection: How do you envision yourself as “productively stupid” as you work toward completion of your undergraduate degree and as you move into your next phase of life after undergraduate school?

 

Learning Goals: 

The student will be able to articulate the process of learning science.

Implementation Notes: 

This is a good paper for students to discuss and think about the process of learning science before research.

Time Required: 
30-50 minutes
Evaluation
Evaluation Methods: 

Student Homework Reflection

Homework reflection: How do you envision yourself as “productively stupid” as you work toward completion of your undergraduate degree and as you move into your next phase of life after undergraduate school?

Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence

Comments

I have done this activity with students before they begin either literature research or a undergraduate research project.  It works well.

The VIPEr community supports respectful and voluntary sharing. Click here for a description of our default Creative Commons license.