Motion, matter, force, and writing???: Promoting literacy through writing in a secondary physics classroom



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Despite the call by literacy researchers to promote the integration of literacy in all disciplines (Fisher & Ivey, 2005), endeavors to motivate content-area educators to employ general literacy strategies have not been very successful (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008). Infusing writing in content area instruction has been shown to allow learners to clarify and process new information (Daisey, 2009). However, few content teachers employ this practice. In response to the dearth of writing instruction in high school content classrooms, this qualitative narrative ethnography was an in-depth exploration into how writing may facilitate the cultivation of disciplinary literacy in an eleventh grade physics classroom. The study focused on the perspectives of participants during a spring semester of implementing writing. Data sources consisted of interviews, class observations, pre and post surveys, and a collection of documents gathered from the classroom context. Implications about teaching disciplinary literacy are addressed.

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Disciplinary Literacy, Writing-to-Learn