Rationale for Implementation of Literacy Strategies in Science Teaching and Learning
As science teachers, we understand that our students need time, practice, and lots of encouragement in order to learn how to read and write well. Learning how to read and write in science is an important part of scientific literacy, and it can help students understand and retain key science content (NSTA, 2008; NRC 1996; Saul 2004; Shanahan 2004). For students to come to understand science, they must be able to explain their thinking and develop arguments for their findings. In order to become lifelong learners who are capable of reading and writing about scientific issues, making educated decisions and participating in a democratic society, students must be able to read and understand the writing of others, evaluate its worth, and share the results of their own research and experience through writing (NSTA, 2008).
The literacy work in science is based on the MA DESE ELA Framework which incorporates the Common Core for ELA. The emphasis for middle and high school content area literacy has specific targets for science and technical subjects. Our students need to be better prepared to read and understand informational text. Argumentation and Explanation are at the core of science; these are two important areas of the literacy writing standards, as well as two Science and Engineering Practices.