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Pathways to Scientific Teaching, Chapter 2a of 7: Climate change: confronting student ideas

Students bring prior knowledge about science to our courses, yet sometimes their information is inaccurate.The Beedlow et al. article [attached] provides a foundation for addressing several incomplete, naïve, or erroneous ideas that have been identified in students’ thinking about the carbon cycle (Carlsson 2002; Ebert-May et al. 2003), what scientists know about the relationship between plant growth and rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and the relationship between carbon and nitrogen cycles. The scientific teaching approach for this article involves three components: learning goals, instructional strategies that are inquiry-driven and student-centered, and assessment (ie obtaining data that measure student achievement of learning goals). The learning goals are based on the question: “What do students need to know to demonstrate a genuine understanding of the carbon cycle and its relation to global climate change?” The instructional strategy chosen for this example is based on the learning cycle, an instructional model that enables students to address misconceptions and develop more accurate understanding (Posner et al. 1982; Kennedy 2004). In this case, students actively confront their current ideas about global warming by exploring the question “Where does the carbon go?” (a section in Beedlow et al. 2004) and ultimately come to a deeper understanding of the carbon cycle. Assessments probe students’ understanding and misconceptions before, during, and after instruction, to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and learning.
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Resource Group "Pathways to Scientific Teaching" is based on a series of two-page articles published in "Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment" from August 2004 to June 2006 that illustrated effective instructional methods to help students gain conceptual understanding in ecology (Diane Ebert-May and Janet Hodder, 2008).

This installment of the Pathways to Scientific Teaching series describes one or more instructional strategies that use scientific papers to teach selected concepts. While specific journal articles are used in demonstrating these strategies, we would like to emphasize that each activity in the Pathways series has been designed for use with any scientific article on a similar topic, and not just the example shown here.

Note that in addition to undergraduate faculty, many high school teachers can use these articles as well in their biology courses.
Resource Group Link http://ecoed.esa.org/index.php?P=AdvancedSearch&Q=Y&FK=%22Pathways+to...
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords carbon cycle, nitrgen cycle, climate change, assessment, inquiry, student-centered
Audience
Intended End User Role
Language
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description Beedlow et al. provides a rich conceptual background and synthesis of interrelations of the carbon and nitrogen cycles and the effects of air pollution on carbon sequestration. The instructional potential of this paper is broad and how it is used depends on the learning goals for your students. Clearly, this example will be interpreted and implemented differently by faculty with diverse teaching and disciplinary expertise.

This installment of the Pathways to Scientific Teaching series describes one or more instructional strategies that use scientific papers to teach selected concepts. While specific journal articles are used in demonstrating these strategies, we would like to emphasize that each activity in the Pathways series has been designed for use with any scientific article on a similar topic, and not just the example shown here.

Note that in addition to undergraduate faculty, many high school teachers can use these articles as well in their biology courses.
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Michigan State University
Primary Author email ebertmay@msu.edu
Secondary Author Name(s) Kathy Williams 1, Doug Luckie 2, and Janet Hodder 3
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) 1 San Diego State University, 2 Michigan State University, and 3 University of Oregon
Rights Copyright 2008 Ecological Society of America
Date Of Record Submission 2011-12-02

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