Writing stories to enhance scientific literacy

Ritchie, Stephen M., Tomas, Louisa, & Tones, Megan J. (2010) Writing stories to enhance scientific literacy. International Journal of Science Education.

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In response to international concerns about scientific literacy and students’ waning interest in school science, this study investigated the effects of a science-writing project about the socioscientific issue of biosecurity on the development of students’ scientific literacy. Students generated two BioStories each that merged scientific information with the narrative storylines in the project. The study was conducted in two phases. In the exploratory phase, a qualitative case study of a 6th grade class involving classroom observations and interviews informed the design of the second, confirmatory phase of the study, which was conducted at a different school. This phase involved a mixed methods approach featuring a quasi-experimental design with two classes of Australian middle school students (i.e., 6th grade, 11 years of age, n=55). The results support the argument that writing the sequence of stories helped the students become more familiar with biosecurity issues, develop a deeper understanding of related biological concepts, and improve their interest in science. On the basis of these findings, teachers should be encouraged to engage their students in the practice of writing about socioscientific issues (SSI) in a way that integrates scientific information into narrative storylines. Extending the practice to older students, and exploring additional issues related to writing about SSI are recommended for further research.

Impact and interest:

12 citations in Scopus
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7 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 37721
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: scientific literacy, socioscientific issues, writing-for-learning
DOI: 10.1080/09500691003728039
ISSN: 0950-0693
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in [International Journal of Science Education]. International Journal of Science Education is available online at informaworldTM
Deposited On: 05 Oct 2010 22:38
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:11

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