Scientific literacy as social practice: Implications for reading and writing in science classrooms
Keywords:School science literacies, Language, Social practices
This article provides an introduction to what it means to adopt a view of literacy as social practice for science education. This view of literacy builds on the idea that reading and writing are best regarded as situated social practices involving text, not as a set of decontextualised and universally applicable skills. First, we draw on sociocultural perspectives on literacy to show how these perspectives inform our understanding of literacy when the context is science. Second, we use related research literature, mainly concerning the role of text in science education, to present a framework for approaching literacy in science classrooms from a sociocultural perspective. Finally, we discuss how a social view of literacy enables us to consider how literacy occurs in contexts relevant to a transcending science subject for scientific literacy.
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