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Science and Literacy: Exploiting the Synergies P. David Pearson, Suzy Loper, Megan Goss UC Berkeley Slides and LOTS OF OTHER STUFF available at WWW.SCIENCEANDLITERACY.ORG.

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Presentation on theme: "Science and Literacy: Exploiting the Synergies P. David Pearson, Suzy Loper, Megan Goss UC Berkeley Slides and LOTS OF OTHER STUFF available at WWW.SCIENCEANDLITERACY.ORG."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science and Literacy: Exploiting the Synergies P. David Pearson, Suzy Loper, Megan Goss UC Berkeley Slides and LOTS OF OTHER STUFF available at

2 Overview of goals for this morning  Acquaint you with our perspective in the Seeds and Roots at Lawrence Hall of Science  Illustrate how the principles that underlie our work can be applied in any setting and program  Give you an opportunity to apply some of these principles to your own programs and classrooms

3 Useful paper Cervetti, G., Pearson, P. D., Barber, J., Hiebert, E., Bravo, M. (2007). Integrating literacy and science: The research we have, the research we need. In M. Pressley, A. K. Billman, K. Perry, K. Refitt & J. Reynolds (Eds.), Shaping literacy achievement (pp ). New York: Guilford Pre-Print available at

4 What’s the difference between primary, secondary, and college teachers?  Their kids  Their subject matter  Themselves

5 Some preliminaries  I am not a science educator  Literacy must de-center More like learning Less like science or social studies  Knowledge acquisition tools  Means not ends

6 Some more preliminaries  Legitimate threats to science education from literacy curricula Text domination Word domination We’ll take care of it for you

7 Science educators are rightfully suspicious of literacy, especially text-driven science curriculum. Apprehensions about text: Declarations of ‘fact’ not the scientific enterprise Misrepresentations Eclipse inquiry

8 Many science educators are apprehensive about vocabulary instruction Apprehensions about vocabulary:  Science as memorizing words (N = 3500)  Words as the final goal  How words get in the way of concepts

9 We’ll take care of it for you!  We’ll teach the students how to decipher content area texts  Not your responsibility as a science teacher.

10 Many have thought through the commonalities in cognitive processes: For example  Carin and Sund (1985). Teaching science through discovery, 5th Ed. Columbus, OH: Merrill. Many intellectual skills in common  Predicting  Classifying  Interpreting Thinking as a common core

11  Baker, L. (1991). Metacognition, reading, and science education. In C.M. Santa and D.E. Alvermann (Eds.), Science learning: Processes and applications (pp. 2-13). Newark, DE: International Reading Association Formulating conclusions Analyzing critically Evaluating information relevance Establishing relationships Applying information to new settings Existing Research: Conceptual accounts of relationships

12 Empirical work at the science and literacy interface  Guthrie: Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI).  Palincsar & Magnusson: Guided Inquiry Supporting Multiple Literacies (GIsML).  Romance & Vitale: In-depth Expanded Applications of Science (IDEAS)  Anderson, et al: Wondering, Exploring, and Explaining (WEE).  Pappas, Varelas, Barry, and Rife: Dialogically- Oriented Read Alouds

13 Learning from our predecessors  Integration is promising  Can travel both ways Lead with literacy, follow with science (Guthrie and CORI) Lead with science, follow with literacy (Palincsar & Magnusson)  Making a virtue out of the Second and First Hand Investigations: Palincsar & Magnusson  Literacy can gain from science: Romance and Vitale

14 Today’s Report  Description and illustration of the principles that guide our work  Along the way…talk about the legitimate role of text in inquiry based science

15 Context for Our Work  NSF-funded Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading Project  Collaborators: UC-Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science and Graduate School of Education  Revision of GEMS units to integrate literacy with firsthand science  Curriculum development and research

16 Our Entire Seeds and Roots Team  Literacy  Marco A. Bravo  Gina Cervetti  Megan Goss  Elfrieda Hiebert  Carolyn Jaynes,  Dvora Klein  P. David Pearson  Lisa Sensale  Jennifer Tilson  Science  Jacqueline Barber  Josiah Baker  Lynn Barakos  Kevin Beals  Lincoln Bergman  Mary Connoly  Jonathan Curley  John Erickson  Catherine Halversen  Kimi Hosoume  Suzanna Loper  Carolyn Willard  Suzy Loper

17 Progress to Date  Built a model of science-literacy integration  Applied that model to the development of 3 units for 2nd-3rd grade students and assessment system  Built a model of text accessibility  Developed and produced 27 non- fiction student readers that embody this model  Planned and are currently authoring another 56

18 Progress, continued  Developed and integrated an approach for accommodating language learners  A national, quasi-experimental research study involving 87 classrooms in 21 states  Planning a new national field trial in 160 classrooms in even more states  Engaged in several separate research studies regarding science-literacy integration Genre (narrative and straightforward informational) Lexical and syntactic complexity Spontaneous use of new vocabulary in writing Nature of the discourse in a lesson that “cooks”

19 Guiding Principles and Curricular Guidelines

20 Three Pillars of Integration  Engage students in firsthand and text investigations  Employ multiple modalities  Capitalize on synergies between science and literacy

21 Firsthand and Text Investigations  Premise: Text and experience can play a set of dynamic roles in the inquiry process and the learning cycle.

22 First and second hand investigations  Conduct Snail investigations about preferred environments and food  Read a “plausible narrative” in which other students conduct similar investigations  Compare results and account for discrepancies  Mirrors what scientists do when they “build on” the scholarly traditions within which they work.

23 Multiple Modalities Science-Only (GEMS)  Learn from first hand experiences and reflection Doing Talking Science/Literacy (Seeds/Roots) Learn through multiple learning modalities Doing Talking Reading Writing

24 Applying multiple modalities  Apply it to all activities/synergies  Vocabulary Use is the ultimate standard  Knowledge  Inquiry-Comprehension

25 Synergies  Science knowledge/conceptual vocabulary: Words are fundamentally conceptual  Science inquiry/reading comprehension: Science and literacy share core meaning-making strategies  Nature and practices of science/oral and written discourse: Science entails a discourse about the natural world

26 Synergy #1: Words are fundamentally conceptual  Definitions don’t make it  Context of use helps, but not always  Words are surface labels for semiotic potentials: words are not the point of words (ideas are!).  Concentrate on the conceptual context- -how does this concept relate to all of its siblings? Semantic networks Family resemblances

27 Lots of visual and verbal activity Shelter Habitat Water FoodOrganisms Shoreline Desert Forest Transmit Transparent Translucent Photo Photograph Photosynthesis

28 Vocabulary  Commit to a small set of core science words that together (and in combination with firsthand experiences and talk) help build a rich conceptual network  Print-rich environment (both reading and writing)  No gratuitous singletons  Increasing depth of knowledge Awareness Acquaintanceship Ownership  Use it and manipulate it  Best accomplished by RWTD

29 The language of science  We have been able to identify, across a range of K-5 science texts, a set of “high utility” science words  Words that while not highly frequent in general discourse, recur with great regularity in science texts  We look for opportunities to use these words again and again in all of these language and experiential modes.  We also promote the deliberate use of specialized science terms

30 Promoting Scientific Language Everyday LanguageScience Language I sawI observed I wroteI recorded I thinkI predicted I lookedI Investigated proofEvidence homeHabitat

31 Apply the multi-modal filter  At every opportunity in every part of the curriculum.  Read it  Write it  Talk it  Do it

32 Synergy #2: Capitalizing on the cognitive synergies between inquiry and comprehension

33 Check the appropriate box Cognitive ActivityLiteracyScienceBoth Summarizing Searching for information in a text Engaging in discourse Posing questions Making explanations from evidence Writing reflections Making/reviewing predictions Drawing inferences/conclusions

34 Some Shared Strategies Activating Prior Knowledge Establishing Purpose/Setting Goals Making and Reviewing Predictions Drawing Inferences and Conclusions Recognizing Relationships D

35 How do we know that these are really similar across science and literacy?  First, we cede the point that the nature of the evidence is fundamentally different  But… Can we see a fundamental cognitive similarity between the processes widely used in science and literacy? Can you use the same rubric to score activities in science and literacy


37 Can the same rubrics be used to evaluate student performance in both domains? D

38 Making Predictions 1. Makes prediction with no apparent reasoning 2. Provides prediction supported by unrelated evidence 3. Provides prediction supported by related evidence 4. Is able to revise prediction to take into account additional evidence 5. Assesses the nature and quality of evidence D

39 Evidence-based Explanations 1. Explanation does not refer to evidence 2. Cites some evidence to support explanation 3. Cites multiple pieces of evidence to support an explanation 4. Synthesizes evidence to create explanations beyond what the students have been taught 5. Assesses the nature and quality of the evidence D

40 Operating Theory: Comprehension Strategies are Inquiry Strategies!!  Comprehension and inquiry are the accepted meaning making strategies in science and literacy  Comprehension and inquiry share goals and strategies D Constructing meaning from experience

41 Synergy #3: Science is a Discourse  Science is all about language…but is more than words  Instead of avoiding scientific terminology and register, need to embrace it  Hands-on science is a venue for bringing the language of science to bear on experience G

42 Postman, 1979 quote  Biology is not plants and animals, it is a language about plants and animals.  Astronomy is not planets and stars. It is a way of talking about planets and stars" (p. 165).

43 Teaching Discourse  Environment rich in language of science  Select generative vocabulary  Use everyday language as a conceptual bridge  Immerse students in investigations to bind language to activity G

44 Teaching Discourse  Discourse circles: talk about experiments Deal with challenging conceptual problems: Is this sand old or new? What does the evidence tell us? a place to practice talking science A place to learn something about the nature of science  Communicate with one another  Disagreement can be functional  Gather evidence to adjudicate competing claims Reflect on our learning  How are we doing?  How were we acting like scientists?  How compelling is our evidence?  What do we need to work on?

45 Writing: Writing as Scientists Do  Observing and recording  Writing reports to communicate findings  Writing procedural texts  Writing descriptive texts

46 With important discourse elements, including vocabulary  Read it  Write it  Talk it  Do it In any order and any combination D

47 Text roles

48 Text can Support Inquiry Science  Providing Context  Delivering Content  Modeling  Supporting Second-Hand Inquiry  Supporting Firsthand Inquiry

49 Authenticity in Science Deliver Content Provide Context Modeling Supporting Second- hand Investigations Supporting Firsthand Investigations Scientists read to acquire new knowledge etc. Scientists read to situate research in broad social themes Scientists replicate others’ procedures and experiments Scientists read and interpret others’ data and findings Scientists use reference books to do their own work

50 Students learn about the natural habitat of butterflies From the Trade Literature Providing Context

51 From FOSS Interview with chemist connects the students' work with mixtures and solutions to what chemists do Providing Context

52  Invite students to engage with the context What if Rain Boots Were Made of Paper?  Introduce domain and/or context Walk in the Woods  Connect to the world outside the classrooms Black Tide From the Seeds and Roots

53 Students seek out information about internal and external structures of the bat G From the Trade Literature Delivering Content

54 From FOSS This page shows info about atoms and molecules, including hydrochloric acid -- too small to see and not safe to work with, so good use of text to deliver content Delivering Content

55  Deliver science information All About Roots  Provide information and explanation about unobservable phenomena Solving Dissolving From Seeds and Roots

56 Students read a model of systematic observation and recording over time From the Trade Literature Modeling

57 A story about two students doing an investigation: models important aspects of the inquiry process like questioning, measuring carefully, etc. From FOSS

58 Modeling  Model inquiry processes My Nature Notebook  Model literacy processes Sea Otter Report to their own reports  Model nature of science Habitat Scientist/Jellybean Scientist Biographical sketches of scientists at work From the Seeds and Roots

59 Books can also model different genres of writing for student writing Modeling From Student Work

60 Students draw conclusions about the function of specific animal structures From the Trade Literature Supporting Secondhand Inquiry

61 Data from the same investigation used as the "Modeling" example, for students to analyze and draw conclusions. From FOSS

62 Supporting Secondhand Inquiry  Provide text-based experience with data Snail Investigations In the same unit, they also plot their own data. From the Seeds and Roots

63 From second to first hand inquiry From Student Work Supporting Secondhand Inquiry

64 Students use this book as a field guide to identify evidence of animals they see on a nature walk From the Trade Literature Supporting Firsthand Inquiry

65 A reference-book like page about ways to classify leaves, designed to use with a first-hand investigation in which students classify leaves From FOSS

66 Supporting Firsthand Inquiry  Provide information that facilitates firsthand investigations Handbook of Interesting Ingredients  Support students in making sense of firsthand investigations Gary’s Sand Journal From the Seeds and Roots

67 After reading Jess Makes Hair Gel…they had to try it for themselves! Back Supporting Firsthand Inquiry From Student Work

68 Text and Inquiry Cycle Provide context Deliver content Model Support secondhand inquiry Support firsthand inquiry 1 Explore the topic XXXX 2 Ask a question XX 3 Make an hypothesis XX 4 Plan and conduct an investigation XX 5 Record and organize data XX 6 Analyze results XX 7 Make an explanation based on evidence XXXX 8 Ask a new question XX 9 Communicate results X

69 Text and Learning Cycle Provide context Deliver content Model Support secondhand inquiry Support firsthand inquiry Engage XX Explore XXX Explain XXXXX Extend XXXX Evaluate XXX

70 Creating authentic, supportive texts is no mean feat  We work very hard to… Be true to the range of texts scientists and citizens use to communicate about science Never to compromise the integrity of the information Strive for access, but not at any cost  When it is too hard, go back to the drawing board, don’t chop it up or just substitute easy words

71 Bottom line  Difficult journey  Well worth the effort Improved literacy Improved science Increased efficacy for  Students  Teachers

72 Integration is tough…What happens when you try to integrate reading and math?  The evolution of mathematics story problems during the last 40 years.

73 1960's  A peasant sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His costs amount to 4/5 of his selling price. What is his profit?

74 1970's (New Math)  A farmer exchanges a set P of potatoes with a set M of money.  The cardinality of the set M is equal to $10 and each element of M is worth $1. Draw 10 big dots representing the elements of M.  The set C of production costs is comprised of 2 big dots less than the set M.  Represent C as a subset of M and give the answer to the question: What is the cardinality of the set of profits? (Draw everything in red).

75 1980's  A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His production costs are $8 and his profit is $2. Underline the word "potatoes" and discuss with your classmates.

76 1990's  A kapitalist pigg undjustlee akires $2 on a sak of patatos. Analiz this tekst and sertch for erors in speling, contens, grandmar and ponctuassion, and than ekspress your vioos regardeng this metid of geting ritch.  Author unknown

77 2000's  Dan was a man.  Dan had a sack.  The sack was tan.  The sack had spuds  The spuds cost 8.  Dan got 10 for the tan sack of spuds.  How much can Dan the man have?

78 Reading and writing are better when they are tools not goals  If we don’t realign the current curricular imbalances, science and social studies may suffer…  but ultimately reading and writing will suffer  reading and writing are not about reading and writing in general  they are about reading and writing particular texts that are grounded in particular experiences  they both depend upon the existence, the acquisition and the utilization of knowledge (note the comprehension revolution!)  not knowledge in general but knowledge of particular disciplines, domains of inquiry, topics, patterns, concepts, and facts  In short, the very stuff of subject matter curriculum! NY Times, Tuesday, March 28, 2006

79 This is the model I don’t like  Science  Social Studies  Math  English Language Arts

80 A model I like: Tools by Disciplines ScienceSocial Studies Mathe- matics Literature Reading Writing Language Academic Disciplines……….. Language Tools

81 Early: Tools dominate ScienceSocial Studies Mathe- matics Literature Reading Writing Language Academic Disciplines……….. Language Tools

82 Later: Disciplines dominate ScienceSocial Studies Mathe matics Literature Reading Writing Language Academic Disciplines……….. Language Tools

83 Weaving math literature Social studies Science Reading Writing Language

84 So what is the bottom line in the science-literacy interface? In any order and any combination… In every order and every combination! Talk it Write it Do it Read it Talk it Do it Write it Read it

85 How to Ease the Literacy-Science Tensions in the Current Educational Context  Literacy is eating up the school day-it has become the curricular bully D Literacy doesn’t have to put science off the curricular stage-it can become a curricular buddy Only a small phonological and orthographic shift…

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