Multiple Literacies in Language Arts and Science & Potential for Integrated Instruction
This comprehensive essay addresses the issue of literacy in language arts and in science as it relates to learners and learning, the learning environment, curriculum and instructional strategies, and assessment in the science and language arts content areas. My primary concern is investigating what it means to be literate in science and language arts, which I investigate first by identifying and exploring Adams's and Goodman & Goodman's models of language literacy development and various definitions of scientific literacy as described by The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Research Council's (NRC) Committee on Science Learning, Kindergarten through 8th Grade, and the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education's Roger W. Bybee, and Matthew Weinstein. Specifically, my essay is guided by the focusing question, "how does science literacy differ from literacy in reading/writing class?" I address the question as it relates to my area of specialization, elementary education. In answering this question, this essay explains the cognitive processes involved in developing the respective literacies and provides solid, research-based recommendations for best practices for instruction and assessment. It extends to investigate how integrated instruction is used, and to what end, in developing literacy in both content areas. My final recommendation is that reading, writing, and inquiry be used together to bolster achievement across subject areas, to make learning meaningful for students, and to be used in developing and implementing more authentic assessment techniques that reflect how practitioners actually use the respective literacies.
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