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Journal Club Toolkit


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This set of teaching materials aims to help instructors engage their students with the primary literature in evolutionary biology through a "journal club" that can be implemented in a discussion section or smaller class. It includes several helpful tools: annotated articles, a reading guide, additional suggested reading, and tips for students leading a discussion of a journal article.

UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:

Several class periods

Teaching tips:
The Journal Club Toolkit was designed to be implemented in the discussion section of an evolution course or of an evolution-oriented introductory biology course and includes explicit instructions for doing so; however, the materials could be adapted to suit the needs and constraints of other class formats.

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Science focuses on natural phenomena and processes.

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Scientists may explore many different hypotheses to explain their observations.

  • The real process of science is complex, iterative, and can take many different paths.

  • Scientific findings and evidence inspire new questions and shape the directions of future scientific research.

  • Science is a human endeavor.

  • Authentic scientific controversy and debate within the community contribute to scientific progress.

  • Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.

  • Our understanding of life through time is based upon multiple lines of evidence.

Teacher background:

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