Beyond the Literacy Classroom: A Narrative Inquiry into a Middle School Teacher’s Experience with Implementing Literacy Instruction into a Science Classroom



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In middle school science classrooms across the United States teachers are struggling to implement content area and disciplinary literacies into their lessons. Although several studies have noted limited implementation of content area and disciplinary literacies in classroom instruction and offered reasons for this phenomenon such as lack of teacher knowledge, lack of time, or resistance to teaching literacy, more needs to be known about why this phenomenon persists despite a plethora of theories, research, instructional methods, and educational standards. As such this study aims to address the gap between theory and practice through a narrative inquiry that explores the experience of a middle school science teacher in an effort to tell the teacher’s story of her experiences with implementing content area literacy instruction into her classroom as well as her experiences with professional learning about implementing content area and disciplinary literacies. I derived data for this study from interviews, observations, and documents. I also reflected upon my own experiences within the classroom as a former middle school science teacher. Through inductive coding of data four themes emerged. These themes were (a) the participant’s definition of content area literacy, (b) implementing literacy strategies, (c) content area support and professional development and (d) attitude.



content area literacy, narrative inquiry, middle school, science education