ERIC Number: ED352259
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Writing in Creating a Science Learning Community. Elementary Subjects Center Series No. 56.
Roth, Kathleen J.; And Others
At the same time that educators and researchers are identifying ways in which major reform and restructuring is needed in schools, research on student learning in science (and other subjects) from constructivist and conceptual-change perspectives is suggesting the potential for significant improvements in students' understanding of science and science concepts. The focus of the study was the role of writing and classroom discourse in supporting student understanding in science. This topic was explored across 4 months of fifth grade science instruction designed to promote students' conceptual change, using daily observations of teaching, analysis of student writing, teacher reflections, and interviews with students to trace student thinking and the role that writing and discourse play in student learning. Working collaboratively as part of an effort to create a school-university professional development school, the researchers in this study included university teachers and elementary school teachers. This paper presents a description of six student's writing during one unit of instruction, and a description of one lesson segment that illustrates the relationship between private writing and public discourse in this science classroom. Discussion focuses on the roles that writing played from both the teachers perspective and the students' perspectives and the contributions that writing made to the development of a science-learning community in this classroom. (PR)
Descriptors: Action Research, Classroom Research, Concept Formation, Constructivism (Learning), Discourse Analysis, Elementary School Science, Grade 5, Intermediate Grades, Learning Theories, Science Education, Science Instruction, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Assignments, Writing Research
Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, Institute for Research on Teaching, 252 Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($8).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.
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