NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ921534
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
First-Year Students Benefit from Reading Primary Research Articles
Wenk, Laura; Tronsky, Loel
Journal of College Science Teaching, v40 n4 p60-67 Mar 2011
Primary research articles discuss aspects of scientific inquiry that are important in understanding the nature of science. Yet, most introductory science courses use textbooks that ignore the scientific process; opportunities for explicit discussion of the nature of science are lost. In Hampshire College's science program, students read current primary research articles throughout their college careers. This article describes the pedagogy used and demonstrates that first-year students can make considerable progress in critically evaluating the research literature. A sample of 41 students in introductory natural science courses made statistically significant improvements in their abilities to explain the experimental design, data collection methods, and results sections of primary research articles over the course of their first semester. As Hampshire is a small liberal arts college, this article includes ideas for incorporating primary literature into many types of college science courses, large and small. (Contains 4 figures and 3 tables.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts