The evolution of science literacy: Examining intertextual connections and inquiry behaviors in the classroom

Carol J Manocchi-Verrino, Fordham University


A call for a new perspective of science literacy has been marked as the impetus of change in science education, suggesting that a meaning-making approach to literacy and inquiry are central to learning science. This research study explored how science literacy evolved in a classroom where this reconceptualized view of science literacy guided curriculum design and instruction. The teacher/researcher incorporated Interactive Science Notebooks (ISNs) and Interactive Reading Organizers and Comprehension Strategies (IROCS) into instructional materials. In a class consisting of 20 mainstream and special education students, this 7-week study collected data using Likert scales, stimulated recall interviews, a teacher/researcher journal, and students¡¦ position papers. A systematic design framework was used for the three-phase analysis. Hyperresearch ® software facilitated the identification of open codes, an axial code, and frequency graphs. In order to develop insight into the relationship between questions, methods, and curriculum design recent recommendations for quality research in science education were considered in the methodology. The hypothesis formulated from the data suggests that science literacy evolves on a continuum, and the degree to which science literacy evolves on the continuum seems to be contingent upon their uses of intertextual connections and inquiry behaviors. Several notable insights emerged from the data which were used to guide curriculum, instruction, and assessment that promotes the development of science literacy in the middle school classroom. The study suggests a possible correlation between the use of intertextual connections and inquiry behaviors, and the use of a continuum in measuring the emergence of science literacy.

Subject Area

Science education|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Manocchi-Verrino, Carol J, "The evolution of science literacy: Examining intertextual connections and inquiry behaviors in the classroom" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3558273.