Master Gard Ove Sørvik

Title of dissertation:

Multiple School science literacies. Exploring the role of text during Integrated inquiry-based science and literacy instruction.


Despite the importance of language and literacy in the social practices that make science possible, texts have traditionally been deemphasized in many science classrooms to avoid reading about science instead of “doing” science. Thus, this qualitative study follows the students of six primary school science teachers enrolled in an in-service professional development course as the teachers explicitly integrate disciplinary literacy practices with inquiry-based science education in their classrooms. The study relies on video data from the six classrooms, along with interview data with students and textual artifacts from the video-recorded science lessons

The main aim of the thesis is to explore how literacy is embedded in these six primary school science classrooms during integrated inquiry-based science and literacy instruction. By approaching literacy as a social practice, the findings illustrate how multiple school science literacies, which attend to markedly different purposes in the classroom, can emerge in an inquiry-based context in primary school science. For example, elements of students’ informal literacies became valued resources in the dialogic process of inquiry, but the students also engaged in typically schooled literacy practices that helped structure their learning experiences. The thesis highlights a need for supporting teachers in the discussion and communication phases of inquiry, as well as providing explicit instruction to the specialized conventions of scientific language that frame reading and writing in school science.

The work has been carried out at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, and contributes to the Budding Science and Literacy project, at the Norwegian Centre for Science Education.





Published Aug. 10, 2015 10:48 AM