This essay presents and discusses an eight-session seminar course designed to develop critical thinking skills in doctoral biochemistry students by exposing them to classical experiments in biochemistry. During each 2.5 session, different key topics of the discovery and development of biochemical concepts are discussed. Before each session, students are required to read the one or two classical papers. The size of the seminar course and the seating of the students are critical to make this a highly interactive environment for all students to participate in the critique and re-designing of key experiments, including control experiments, which helped formulate these classical concepts. Final student evaluation of the course’s goals has two equal components: Course participation and a final take home exam due two weeks after the course is completed. Together with the take home exam students are also required to write an evaluation of the course, preferably no longer than half a page. Students’ comments of the course have been uniformly positive. The author notes the sooner students are exposed to this manner of thinking, the better they will be equipped to choose an appropriate mentor and contribute creatively to attempt to solve the scientific problem of their PhD thesis.
Hirschberg, Carlos B.
"A Course in Critical Thinking for PhD Students in Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology: Classical Experiments in Biochemistry,"
Higher Learning Research Communications: Vol. 6
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/hlrc/vol6/iss1/4