Perspectives: On Writing in Scienceby: Sandra K. Abell

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Many teachers use writing in science as a recording tool (science notebooks) or to find out what students have learned (constructed response tests). Yet writing experts Judith Langer and Arthur Applebee (1987) tell us that writing to evaluate knowledge and skills is only one of several purposes for writing. According to their framework, writing in science classrooms can also: 1) draw on prior knowledge to prepare for new activities, 2) foster new learning, 3) consolidate and review ideas, and 4) reformulate and extend knowledge.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:33 AM

This two page article really gives the reader a wonderful overview of the research behind writing in science. By not only presenting the research, but connecting it to practice, Abell really makes it useful to all interested in this important part of science education.

Wendy R  (Pocatello, ID)
Wendy R (Pocatello, ID)

  • on Sun May 01, 2011 6:37 PM

Sandra Abell has presented the research why stuents should write to learn science in a brief, very understandable article. I used information from this article to justify my need to work with teachers on the importance of writing toearn science. One very important point is that the teacher's response to the writing is critical. It is important not to assume that students understand density just because they use the word. probing questions would be called for if a student said." Things flot because of their density" It woul be important to do some more digging to figure out if the student really understands.

Kathy Renfrew  (Barnet, VT)
Kathy Renfrew (Barnet, VT)

  • on Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:51 AM

Classroom teachers understand the importance of writing in any discipline for students. How to provide effective feedback to children is more of a challenge. The research supports the ability of all children to write in science but more importantly this article gives the reader some concrete ideas of how to help children learn through their writing activities.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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