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The Senses of Scientific Literacies in a Middle Years Multiliteracies Project

By Beryl E. Exley

Abstract

This article focuses attention on conversations with one teacher, Olivia Augustakis, and her description of a science inspired multi-literacies project (New London Group, 2000; Kalantzis & Cope, 2005). The 'Land Environments Board Games' project, undertaken by Year Five at St Thomas More School, Sunshine Beach, Queensland, was part of a collection of literacy projects awarded a National Literacy and Numeracy Week Celebration Grant in 2006 for effectiveness in engaging students with the complex demands of curriculum literacies. Definitions of curriculum literacies (Wyatt-Smith & Cumming, 2003) draw attention to each field's sets of knowing (content knowledge) and ways of representing knowing (literacies). Norris and Phillips (2003) contend that written forms of representing scientific knowing are too often left implicit, thereby hindering the development of students' derived senses of scientific literacies. A multiliteracies pedagogies (New London Group, 2000; Kalantzis & Cope, 2005) framework is employed to analyse Olivia’s talk and to render opaque her understanding of the interdependence of science as content and its specialised representation. This single case analysis is important also for its showcase of the four interrelated phases of a multiliteracies project: student practice, overt instruction, critical framing and transformed practice (New London Group, 2000; Kalantzis & Cope, 2005)

Topics: 130212 Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy, scientific literacy, middle years science, senses of scientific literacy, fundamental sense, multiliteracies, multiliteracies pedagogy
Publisher: Middle Years of Schooling Association
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:14991

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