Published by Brunsell on 12 Aug 2010 at 11:15 pm
Literacy is an active phenomenon. Its power lies not in a received ability to read and write, but rather in an individual’s capacity to put those skills to work in shaping the course of his or her own life.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
The draft Framework for New Science Education Standards highlighted the importance of literacy to science when they cited a study that showed:
..on average, scientists read 23% of total work time. When the activities of speaking and writing are included as well, the scientists in the study spent an average of 58% of their total working time… scientists and engineers were found to consider reading as essential to their work and as their primary source of creative simulation.
Thus the dominant practice in science and engineering is not “hands-on” manipulation of the material world but rather a “minds-on” social and cognitive engagement with ideas, evidence and argument.
The draft framework codifies the importance of literacy to learning science by defining literacy expectations as one of the core practices of science.
Communicating and Interpreting Science: Reading Science (pg 5-22)
Identifies the main topic, focus and key details of a scientific or technical text.
Knows and uses various text features (e.g. captions, headings, tables of contents, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information. Explain how images and illustrations contribute to and clarify a text. Asks about the reliability of a source.
Reads informational texts independently, proficiently, and fluently within the level of complexity appropriate for one’s age. Can explain how an author uses evidence to support his or her claims in text, and identify what evidence supports which claim(s). Uses appropriate criteria both from within the text and in relation to the source of the text to judge if it is likely to be scientifically reliable.
Reads and interprets multiple sources in researching a science question. Analyzes and summarizes in detail the main ideas in a text and their implications. Compares and contrasts arguments from different sources and combines information from them when it is consistent.