ERIC Number: ED394836
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Oil and Water Don't Mix: What about Science and Language Arts?
Dickinson, Valarie L.
Science is generally not seen as a subject that produces literate readers and writers, which is a major goal in the elementary grades. The purpose of the study reported in this paper was to determine the development of preservice elementary teachers' (N=46) definitions of language arts over the course of a semester. It also looked at ways preservice teachers with interest and expertise in language arts and limited science background can develop an effective approach to teaching science. Results indicate that the development of the preservice teachers' ideas about what constituted language arts can be described as a process over a continuum. They began the course talking about language arts as a way to teach reading and writing. But they later related how discussions during science lessons were incorporating language arts because students were listening to others and talking out their own ideas. It was concluded that it was possible to develop the views of preservice teachers in their definition of language arts by including science content in their curriculum. Implications for teacher education and recommendations include: (1) it was possible to develop the views of preservice teachers in their definitions of language arts by including science content in their curriculum; (2) the importance of using the reflective skills of language arts to help their own students develop their ideas became apparent; (3) the preservice teachers experienced interdisciplinary instruction, and were able to relate this through their own reflective thinking in their journal entries to their future classroom experiences; (4) preservice teachers were able to take the language arts methods with which they were comfortable and use them to successfully teach science content in their science methods course; and (5) the strategies employed here may increase comfort and confidence in teaching science. Contains 23 references. (JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (St. Louis, MO, March 31-April 3, 1996).