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Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club

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The Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club invites you to participate in our seventh year of weekly gatherings! The journal club is a cooperative effort of the Teaching Engagement Program and the Science Literacy Program. Meetings feature lively, structured discussions across discipline and rank with periodic small-scale teaching experiments. Participants from all disciplines are invited to join the whole series or stop by for a specific conversation.

This group provides a wonderful space to learn about, discuss and develop new ideas about teaching. This winter we will focus on ways to work toward equity and making sure all students feel included in our college science classrooms. Please join us!

This term the journal club will meet on Thursdays at 9:00 am in 217 LISB (Lewis Integrative Sciences Building).  The usual Friday 1:00 journal club sessions will be focused on building skills for science communication. For more information, see

Jump to:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10


Week 1:

This term the journal club will focus on issues of equity and inclusion in the science classroom. Our goals include: (1) working to become more aware of the difficulties members of various groups might encounter in our science classrooms and (2) identifying specific changes we can make in our individual classes or personal outlook so that we can better provide an environment in which all students can do their best. We will begin the term by reading about the fruits of TEP’s recent ‘Belonging’ series of workshops as well as some of the ways faculty might unintentionally disadvantage some students and steps to take to avoid doing this.

To prepare, please read:

Killpack, TL and Melón, LC. (2016). Toward Inclusive STEM Classrooms: What Personal Role Do Faculty Play? CBE Life Sci Educ 15:es3


Rumbarger, L. (2016). Inclusive Teaching: Part One of Highlights from TEP’s ‘Belonging’ Series.

Week 2:

Physics remains a heavily male-dominated field. This week in journal club we will begin to explore some of the reasons why, and consider how we can create more welcoming and inclusive environments for students in all science fields. To prepare, please read:

Lewis, KL, JG Stout, SJ Pollock, ND Finkelstein, and TA Ito. (2016). Fitting in or opting out: A review of key social-psychological factors influencing a sense of belonging for women in physics. Physical Review Physics Education Research 12(2):020110-1-6.


Valantine, H.A. (2016). How to fix the many hurdles that stand in female scientists’ way: Women face discrimination of many kinds. We need culture change. Scientific American December.

Week 3:

In journal club this week we will continue to discuss ways to help all students do their best in our classes. A gender gap exists in physics courses: men tend to do better on exams and concept inventories than women do. The paper we’ll read this week presents a values-affirmation exercise that can reduce the gender gap. To prepare, please read:

Miyake, A., Kost-Smith, L. E., Finkelstein, N. D., Pollock, S. J., Cohen, G. L., & Ito, T. A. (2010, November 26). Reducing the gender achievement gap in college science: A classroom study of values affirmation. Science, 330, 1234 –1237. doi:10.1126/science.1195996


Week 4:

In response to the current national focus on immigration, we will devote this week's journal club to a discussion of how we can act as allies for immigrant students in our classes and the University as a whole.

For some background, please read:

Russakoff, D. (2017 January 25). 'The only way we can fight back is to excel': Undocumented college students face an uncertain future under the Trump administration. New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from


Frisby, C. L., & Jimerson, S. R. (2016). Understanding immigrants, schooling, and school psychology: Contemporary science and practice. School psychology quarterly, 31(2), 141.

Week 5:

The increasing use of active learning practices in our classrooms means that student identities and personalities enter more directly into the classroom than they may have in the past. The differences that become apparent can raise challenges for members of some groups. This week we will direct our attention to the challenges (and benefits!) LGBTQIA students encounter in our active learning classes. To prepare, please read:

Cooper, KM and SE Brownell. (2016) Coming Out in Class: Challenges and Benefits of Active Learning in a Biology Classroom for LGBTQIA Students. CBE Life Sci Educ 15:ar37 1-19.

Week 6:

Providing students with examples of the diversity of scientists who contribute to the content we discuss in class may improve underrepresented students’ persistence in science. This week in journal club we will discuss ways of incorporating information about specific scientists into classes. To prepare, please read:

Schinske, JN, H Perkins, A Snyder, and M Wyer. (2016). Scientist Spotlight Homework Assignments Shift Students’ Stereotypes of Scientists and Enhance Science Identity in a Diverse Introductory Science Class. CBE Life Sci Educ 15:ar47 1-18.


Haynes, DM (2014) Always the Exception: Women and Women of Color Scientists in Historical Perspective. AAC&U Peer Review 16(2).


Week 7:

Some students who show initial interest decide not to pursue science majors and careers because they fail to see how a science career can help them work toward or meet their family, cultural, or societal goals. This week’s paper traces out this connection between pro-social goals and continuing positive views of science. To prepare, please read:

Jackson, MC, G Galvez, I Landa, P Buonora, and D B Thoman. (2016). Science That Matters: The Importance of a Cultural Connection in Underrepresented Students’ Science Pursuit CBE Life Sci Educ 15:ar42 1-12.

Week 8:

Faculty consistently rate development of critical thinking skills as the most important outcome of undergraduate education, but most classes could do much more to help students to develop those critical thinking skills. This week’s paper discusses an approach to critical thinking development that improves results for women and dramatically improves content knowledge for non-white students as well. To prepare for our meeting, please read:

Goeden, T. J., Kurtz, M. J., Quitadamo, I. J., & Thomas, C. (2015). Community-based inquiry in allied health biochemistry promotes equity by improving critical thinking for women and showing promise for increasing content gains for ethnic minority students. Journal of Chemical Education, 92(5), 788-796.

Week 9:

This week in journal club we will turn our attention to ways to promote STEM interest in Native American students. The paper we will discuss suggests incorporating place-based education and indigenous science into courses. To prepare, please read:

Delparte, D. M., Richardson, R., Eitel, K., Matsaw, S., & Cohn, T. (2016). Promoting Geoscience STEM Interest in Native American Students: GIS, Geovisualization and Reconceptualizing Spatial Thinking Skills. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 15(5).

Week 10:

We will close out this term’s study of how to create more equitable and inclusive classrooms with a look at another remarkably effective values affirmation intervention, followed by a discussion of the institutional-level steps we need to take to ensure our students see all majors as possible and welcoming. To prepare, please read:

Harackiewicz, J. M., Canning, E. A., Tibbetts, Y., Giffen, C. J., Blair, S. S., Rouse, D. I., & Hyde, J. S. (2014). Closing the social class achievement gap for first-generation students in undergraduate biology. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(2), 375.


Asai, DJ and C Bauerle. (2016). From HHMI: Doubling Down on Diversity CBE Life Sci Educ 15:fe6.