COMPETENT OUTSIDERS; 3 ways of being ‘scientifically literate’

A recent issue of New Zealand Science Teacher (the NZASE journal -issue 129) focused on science and literacy. Summing up the submissions received, Rosemary Hipkins (a member of the Editorial Advisory Group) writes that the various authors describe 3 ways of being ‘scientifically literate’

1. basic clarity of writing in a science context. For example, several of the scientists emphasise that clear writing is closely connected with clear thinking, and both are vital for effective, focused communication.”

2. “‘science literacy’ as meaning understanding the key ideas (i.e. the science content) as a scientist would.”

3. “Becoming ‘scientifically literate’ can also mean developing an understanding of the ways science works and the types of claims it can and cannot make; this is an important aspect of the ‘nature of science’. Recent critiques (e.g. Feinstein, 2011) have suggested that a helpful way to think about this type of literacy, as a learning goal, is to support students to become ‘competent outsiders’ who are able to use their encounters with science to achieve important goals in their own lives, even if they could not actually engage with science knowledge-building at its cutting edges.”

I LOVE THIS IDEA OF ‘BECOMING COMPETENT OUTSIDERS’ – THIS IS WHAT TEACHERS SHOULD EXCEL AT – IN FACT IT SHOULD BE THE MAIN GOAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION

It’s also something bicultural people tend to be good at…

Ref: (emphases in bold/blue/underline mine) Rosemary Hipkins (2012) ‘theme: science and literacy; Being clear by what we mean by the combination of these terms’ New Zealand Science Teacher 129, p.4

Reference is made to: Feinstein, N. (2011) Salvaging Science Literacy. Science Education, 95(168-185)

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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