Understanding the Role of Science-Specific Literacy Strategies in Supporting Science Teaching and Student Learning A Case Study of Preservice Elementary Teachers in a Science Methods Course That Integrated a Disciplinary Literacy Framework

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Su Gao
Jonathan L Hall
Vassiliki Zygouris-Coe
Rebeca A Grysko


The shift to student engagement in scientific and engineering practices to learn science provides opportunities for science learning and language learning to occur in tandem. These opportunities also pose new challenges for elementary pre-service teachers (PSTs) since literacy has been presented as an instructional add-on to support science teaching and student learning. We integrated a disciplinary literacy framework in a science methods course to help elementary PSTs understand the synergistic connections between literacy and science teaching. The purpose of this study was to examine elementary PSTs’ understanding of the use of science-specific literacy strategies to support science teaching and learning through three points of observation. Findings from three data sources indicated that PSTs showed a developing understanding of the role of disciplinary literacy in supporting student engagement in science practices and learning disciplinary core ideas. Implications for future uses of a disciplinary literacy framework for teaching and learning science and elementary PSTs’ science preparation are presented.

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