Scientific literacy in a 5E secondary science classroom
Hall, Emily Martin
MetadataShow full item record
As a secondary Earth Science teacher, I noticed my ninth-grade students focused on learning content but were less proficient reading and summarizing scientific articles, assessing scientific sources, and applying what they learned in the classroom to the real world. I wanted to prioritize these three foundational parts of scientific literacy in my ninth-grade Earth Science classroom. To focus on building scientific literacy, I conducted an action research project incorporating current events into the 5E instructional model in the ninth-grade Earth Science classes at Oceanside High School in Rockland, Maine. Throughout two 5E units, students watched news clips, read scientific articles, wrote minute papers, and connected what they were learning to what was happening in the real world. Lessons asked students to assess sources, summarize what they read, and learn about the scientific research related to the topics. I measured growth using interviews, surveys, assessments, and minute papers before and after the two 5E units. Students who attended at least 80% of classes were included in the data (N=46). The minute paper indicated medium growth in student ability to summarize sources. The Scientific Source Validity assessments showed an increase in the mean number of qualifications students used to assess source validity. Organizing interview responses by themes indicated 20.45% more students mentioned that current events helped them connect what they were learning to the real world and 8% more students expressed a desire to learn more after the two 5E units. At the end of my action research, there was positive growth in scientific literacy skills after incorporating current events into the 5E model. Students were more able to assess sources and understand the reason why, they were more specific in their summaries, and they were more excited to learn more about science and make connections.