One of my favorite benefits of being an NSTA member is being able to view all of the journals electronically, although I’m somewhat of a dinosaur in that I still like the feel of holding an actual book or magazine. On the NSTA home page, use the links in the “Choose Your Classroom” list to get to the current and archived issues of NSTA journals for elementary, middle school, high school, and college.
I subscribe to the hard copies of The Science Teacher and Science Scope, being a veteran secondary teacher. I toss the latest issues into a bag to read articles in between meetings, with my morning coffee or late night cocoa, or in the car (not while I’m driving, of course!). I also enjoy and learn a lot from reading Science and Children online for ideas and insights, and I’m now reading these articles on my iPad, which fits into my bag too.
Sometimes I wonder about the artificial boundaries we create as teachers: elementary vs. secondary, K-12 vs. higher education, middle school vs. high school. Having been an educator at all of these levels, I’ve found that there are as many similarities as differences. If you take a few minutes to browse the table of contents for the journals that are outside your own teaching assignments (or read the related SciLinks blogs or the highlights on Facebook and Twitter @NSTA or the summaries on the Social Networking Dashboard) you might identify a few articles of interest to download and read. For example, if you’re not up to date on content, the secondary journals may help you. Or you may have students who could benefit from more advanced activities, or those who need some fundamental experiences.
I suspect that many K-12 teachers don’t look at the Journal of College Science Teaching, but this is another excellent resource. It’s interesting that some of the articles in this higher education publication are about topics and issues with which all of us in K-12 can identify. For example, there have been articles about team dynamics in cooperative learning, the use of learning contracts, using “clicker” response systems in class, and a comparison of cookbook labs and authentic research activities. Even though the students described in these articles are older, there are a lot of commonalities with science education at all levels. Best of all, unlike some higher education publications, the articles in JCST are very readable, not written in “journalese.”
You can download journal articles as PDFs directly to your desktop or iPad. Or you can take advantage of NSTA’s Learning Center to save relevant articles in your own online library or organized them into a resource collection.