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Adapted Primary Research Helps Students Learn

The SJK Team is excited to share our recent article in The Science Teacher, a publication of the National Science Teaching Association (USA): Using Adapted Primary Literature in the Science Classroom. Download it as a PDF file, or use the link below to visit NSTA’s website.

Teaching the scientific method and familiarizing students with the nature of science are critical components of middle and high school science curricula. Traditional methodologies such as direct lecture and guided experiments do not give students the freedom to practice critical thinking. In contrast, exposing students directly to primary research can be frustrating for a number of reasons: academic jargon, technical language, and access paywalls, for example, limit accessibility.

SJK and other organizations help bridge the gap by adapting primary research into accessible learning materials. SJK works closely with the original researchers to ensure their work is both accurately represented and useful to the grade-school classroom. Each of SJK’s adapted scientific articles is accompanied by teaching materials, videos and other resources for identified levels of learning. Many are available in translation into languages other than English.

In a 2017 controlled study, students who were exposed to adapted scientific articles demonstrated stronger understanding of scientific methods and experimental design on an AP exam free-response question. These critical thinking skills give students an advantage to making informed decisions about the credibility, quality, and application of the information they will encounter beyond the classroom.

SJK’s free resources help teachers do their jobs more easily and help train a new generation of scientists.

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