Scientific literacy : the effects of incorporating literacy into a high school environmental science classroom
Rossana, Lisa Mary Rossana
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The purpose of this research project was to study the effects of incorporating scientific literacy into a high school environmental science classroom. The methods used assessed students' content knowledge, attitudes, and confidence. Students were provided with a variety of ancillary methods relating to content material and real-world applications. The overall treatment incorporated three units of study. The first unit of study was on the human population and incorporated basic textbook content material. The second unit of study was on environmental health. The second unit used the pedagogy of the first unit. In addition, students collaborated on ancillary textbook materials which facilitated the connection between content knowledge and real-world applications. The third unit of study was on soil and agriculture. The pedagogy in this unit included all teaching methods from the first two units. Additional ancillaries were incorporated into this unit in the form of a case study, a documentary, and a current event. The purpose of additional ancillaries beyond the text was to further the connection of environmental science content material to real-world applications, and to improve students' attitudes and confidence. Data were collected using student pre-treatment and post-treatment assessments, surveys, and interviews. In addition, teacher data were collected using classroom teacher and colleague observations. Observations were employed to gain understanding of students' interest and academic needs and to assess teacher pedagogy practices. The data indicated an overall improvement of students' understanding of content material. Data also indicated an overall decline in students' attitudes and confidence at the conclusion of this research project.