ERIC Number: ED451041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Dec
Improving Student Science Literacy through an Inquiry-Based, Integrated Science Curriculum and Review of Science Media.
This project studied the effects of an inquiry-based, integrated science course on student science literacy. The course was aligned to state and national science standards. The target population consisted of sophomore, junior, and senior high-school students in an upper-middle class suburb of a major Midwestern city. Questionnaires, tests, and anecdotal information documented the problem of poor science literacy. Analysis of probable cause data showed students lack an ability to explain main ideas, develop main ideas with valid supporting statements, and critically read and analyze articles written for the general reader. Faculty reported that students were generally unaware of or misinformed about scientific issues and that they did not use critical thinking skills to analyze information and come to reasonable conclusions. Based on a review of current literature, using an inquiry-based, coherent, integrated approach to teaching science would help students see science as a discipline with connections among biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science. An inquiry-based approach would give students an opportunity to be apprentice sciences and practice the kind of thinking necessary for scientific inquiry. Analyzing science from the popular media-magazine articles and TV and radio programs would help foster an interest in real world problems and develop abilities to be scientifically literate citizens. Post intervention data indicated an increased awareness of scientific issues. Students improved their ability to explain and develop main ideas. They were able to read a science article more critically, identifying main points, explaining evidence, stating conclusions, and discussing their agreement or lack thereof with the conclusions. Students improved the quality of other questions they wished to answer about the issue and what officials might do to address the issue. (Contains 40 references.) (Author/SAH)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and SkyLight Field-Based Master's Program.