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Pathways to Scientific Teaching, Chapter 6c of 7: Here today, not gone tomorrow?

Extinction has been a fact of life since long before humans arrived on Earth. Now that humans have contributed to the issues of scale and novel causes of endangered species, questions addressing how many species there are in the US, and which ones are at risk, are increasingly relevant. Wilcove and Master [attached] provide an estimate of the number of described species in the US that may be at risk of extinction, including neglected groups of species. The article highlights the opportunity that the NatureServe databases provide to search for rare plant and animal species by US county or watershed – in effect, in students’ own backyards. At first, it may appear that concepts about species extinction are not difficult for students to understand. However, students’ misconceptions about this topic include the belief that the only important endangered species are the “charismatic megafauna”, and that some populations in a community are not important, therefore their elimination has no effect (Munson 1994). Furthermore, students often assume that we know definitively how many species exist and how many are endangered.
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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 endangered species, charismatic megafauna, ecological misconceptions, active learning
Audience
Intended End User Role
Language
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description Instructor goals: 1) Design active homework. 2) Practice cooperative learning strategies in large classes. 3) Use formative assessment data in class to identify student conceptions.
4) Analyze summative assessment data to make decisions about instruction.

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) Evelyn Gaiser 1, Kristen Rosenfeld 2, Everett P Weber 3, and Amanda McConney 4
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) 1 Florida International University, 2 North Carolina State University, 3 Michigan State University, 4 Archbold Biological Station
Rights Copyright 2008, the Ecological Society of America
Date Of Record Submission 2011-12-02

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