One of the benefits of finding research for a Journal Club is that you don’t have to use academic journals for your reading – anything expressing an opinion or idea is good for analysing and can be useful for working up to the more formal writing. Self-published articles, papers or blogs may not be the most reliable sources when conducting your own research, but again, bias is the Journal Club analyst’s best friend.
It’s worth remembering that the people attending your Journal Club are likely to have different levels of experience and confidence with reading adademic writing.
Try going for something that’s not too long to start with. This could be summaries of a couple of sides or a short paper. 10 pages is probably enough.
If you are starting a departmental group then your area of interest is pretty much set. Once you have established this you may decide to subscribe to a particular journal or association and take your reading material from there. Where groups are more mixed, start by picking something that will have the broadest appeal to your group. Topics such as ‘Peer relationships’, ‘Behaviour Management’ or ‘Teacher Education’ are non-subject specific and will work well with a range of staff.
As your group develops you will find that people gain confidence and areas of interest emerge. Different group members may widh to select the paper for meeitngs or subject-groups may break away to discuss narrower topics.