scientific literacy, reading, inquiry, secondary science, reading strategies
The purpose of this study was to interpret the experiences of secondary science teachers in Florida as they address the scientific literacy of their students through teaching content reading strategies and student inquiry skills. Knowledge of the successful integration of content reading and inquiry skills by experienced classroom teachers would be useful to many educators as they plan instruction to achieve challenging state and national standards for reading as well as science. The problem was investigated using grounded theory methodology. Open-ended questions were asked in three focus groups and six individual interviews that included teachers from various Florida school districts. The constant comparative approach was used to analyze the data. Initial codes were collapsed into categories to determine the conceptual relationships among the data. From this, the five core categories were determined to be Influencers, Issues, Perceptions, Class Routines, and Future Needs. These relate to the central phenomenon, Instructional Modifications, because teachers often described pragmatic and philosophical changes in their teaching as they deliberated to meet state standards in both reading and science. Although Florida's secondary science teachers have been asked to incorporate content reading strategies into their science instruction for the past several years, there was limited evidence of using these strategies to further student understanding of scientific processes. Most teachers saw little connection between reading and inquiry, other than the fact that students must know how to read to follow directions in the lab. Scientific literacy, when it was addressed by teachers, was approached mainly through class discussions, not reading. Teachers realized that students cannot learn secondary science content unless they read science text with comprehension; therefore the focus of reading instruction was on learning science content, not scientific literacy or student inquiry. Most of the teachers were actively looking for reading materials and strategies to facilitate student understanding of science concepts, but they did not want to give up limited class time attempting methods that have not been proven to be successful in science classrooms.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education
Curriculum and Instruction
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Cooper, Susan, "Addressing Scientific Literacy Through Content Area Reading And Proces" (2004). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 171.