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Impact of explicit disciplinary literacy instruction on students’ written scientific explanations
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Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, 16-20 April 2015
This paper reports on a finding from a design-based research aimed to help secondary school chemistry students develop scientific explanation writing skill. A lesson series on the topic of Chemical Bonding was specially designed to explicitly teach the three-part structure often found in the genre of scientific explanation. The lesson series was observed and students’ worksheets and test papers were collected and analyzed as informed by genre analysis. It was
found that most students could write well-structured scientific explanations related to Chemical Bonding but only a fraction of them could re-contextualize their knowledge of a scientific explanation genre to other topics. From the findings, the strengths and limitations of a highly domain-specific disciplinary literacy instruction will be further discussed.
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