Writing an ecological mystery in class : merging genres and learning science

Ritchie, Stephen M., Rigano, Donna L., & Duane, Ann (2008) Writing an ecological mystery in class : merging genres and learning science. International Journal of Science Education, 30(2), pp. 143-166.

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Reading and writing stories with science-related themes make it possible for students to develop interest in and capacity for scientific thinking when specialist science and more popular genres converge. As well, feminist scholars have called for greater use of creative-writing activities in school science to counter students' disengagement in participating in science discourses. Yet few studies have been conducted into how students construct meaning as fictional and non-fictional science genres are merged in writing activities. The purpose of this interpretive study was to investigate what happens as a class of fourth-grade children co-creates a publishable eco-mystery – that integrates both fiction and non-fiction – with their teacher. Interpretations are organized around two themes; namely, when genres clash, and scaffolding science learning. The study asserts that: the children's engagement and interest in the writing tasks were sustained across genres; and the children demonstrated fluency in their use of canonically accurate knowledge of ecological/biological concepts embedded in the eco-mystery with scaffolding from their teacher. Additional evidence suggests that the children's fluency with scientific registers had more than a short-term effect.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
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8 citations in Web of Science®

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664 since deposited on 21 Aug 2008
8 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 14458
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Writing science, Participation in science and literacy, Genre, Eco, mystery
DOI: 10.1080/09500690601161783
ISSN: 1464-5289
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Taylor and Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in [International Journal of Science Education 30(2):pp. 143-166]. [International Journal of Science Education] is available online at informaworldTM with http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/09500693.asp
Deposited On: 21 Aug 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:07

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