Scientists and other STEM professionals have unique ways of accessing and communicating information. Students benefit from explicit instruction by someone who understands scientific practices in order to link language skills to this complex content. Communication and writing in Science is highly specialised. Students must be able to read and write texts that are often dense, technical and abstract (Fang, 2005). Scientific texts are also typically multimodal, containing written language, diagrams and images. Teaching students how multimodal elements of a text work together to create meaning will help them to develop and communicate their scientific understanding.
We will consider the impact of areas such as reading for meaning in science through:• developing students’ ability to build on their own experiences of different styles of writing developed in primary school; • develop their use of scientific terminology by making increasingly complex terminology the focus of starters and plenaries; • produce independent written work that communicates science in a clear, logical way; • to distinguish between opinion and fact to demonstrate understanding of the role of evidence in scientific ideas.
Scientific texts are also complex as they are comprised of multiple genres. Explicitly teaching students about the textual features of the various genres they will encounter in Science should help to improve students’ reading and writing. The common genres students will read and write in Science include:• procedural recounts • explanations • discussions.
These skills not only support students’ ability to navigate scientific method, but also help students to clarify, extend and communicate their developing knowledge of scientific content.
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About the AdviserMarsha Blissett - Adviser, Services For Education
Marsha firmly believes that a quality education is the basis for social mobility and has spent her extensive career working across the West Midlands conurbation catapulting the stunted ambitions of staff and students. Marsha has held several senior positions, most recently as a Deputy Headteacher transforming outcomes in one of the most deprived parts of the county.
Marsha is a specialist in The Principles of School Leadership, Safeguarding, STEM Education and Behaviour Management this is complimented by her interest in cognitive science, not only the application to schema but also its application to the wider, often hidden curriculum.