Reading for Learning in the Sciences
Reading for Learning in the Sciences (1984), from the Schools Council, was a source of practical help for teachers that was designed to promote more effective learning from the written word. The book covered the place of reading in science education, the distinctive nature of science texts and the range of reading and study activities which can be used to direct student learning. The book was one of the outcomes of a Schools Council Project Reading for Learning in the Secondary School that was based at Nottingham University from 1978 to1982.
Research had shown that teachers in British secondary schools had comparatively little faith in the potential of reading as a useful aid to effective learning. Research had also shown that school students were failing to engage actively with the texts they were reading and believed that, so long as what they read was vaguely sensible and relevant, it would somehow be absorbed; if not, that was because they were too dim and there was nothing they can do about it.
The Reading for Learning project was designed specifically to lead young learners away from exclusive reliance on receptive reading towards an appreciation of the need for reflective reading, together with an understanding of how to go about it. One of the keys to success was to provide a range of problem-tasks demanding a close and thoughtful study of text for their solution. Informally the authors called these DARTs: Directed Activities Related to Text. The second essential was to devise the lessons in such a way that students would be working together in groups. Properly conducted, the authors showed that such work could be purposive, instructive, collaborative, motivating, even exhilarating.
1 The Place of Reading in Science Education
2 The Nature of Reading in Science: the Text and the Task
3 Towards Effective Reading in Science
4. Towards a Description of Variation in Science Texts
5. Examples of Text Types and Reading Activities in Science
Annotated Bibliography: From Practice to Theory
Appendix: Obtaining Permission to use Copyright Material