Scientific literacy as social practice: Implications for reading and writing in science classrooms

  • Gard Ove Sørvik Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1099 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway.
  • Sonja M. Mork The Norwegian Centre for Science Education, P.O. Box 1106 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway.
Keywords: School science literacies, Language, Social practices

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Gard Ove Sørvik, Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1099 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway.

Gard Ove Sørvik is currently finishing his PhD in science education, on the topic of school science literacies, which is based on data collected through the Budding Science and Literacy project conducted at the Norwegian Centre for Science Education. He is also a science, mathematics and geography teacher at the Hospital School of Oslo. 

Sonja M. Mork, The Norwegian Centre for Science Education, P.O. Box 1106 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway.

Sonja M. Mork is an associate professor at the Norwegian Centre for Science Education, University of Oslo. Mork has a PhD in science education and a background as a biologist and science teacher. Her research interests are in the field of science literacy and inquiry and she is now leading the Budding Science and Literacy project. 

Published
2015-11-02
Section
Articles