|Classroom-based Studies of Teaching, Assessment, & Technology Applications
This node involves a variety of explicit instruction approaches regarding thinking, language, mathematics and information communication technology (ICT) to enhance science and technology literacy: the cognitive abilities, habits of mind and language to do science inquiry and technology design and to improve the understanding of science and technology. An analysis of international school reforms (standards documents) in language arts, science, mathematics and technology suggest that contemporary literacy in the content disciplines involve two interacting components-The traditional understanding of the big ideas in the discipline and the fundamental abilities, emotional dispositions, language and communications found in the discipline to understand these big disciplinary ideas and to persuade others to take informed actions related to these big ideas. In Canada, this means to participate more fully in the public debates are science, technology, society and environmental (STSE) issues.
The fundamental sense of science and technology has a symbiotic relationship with the traditional sense of understanding the big ideas of science and technology. This means that language (including mathematics, visual representations, and information communication technologies) is an essential tool (technology) of science and technology not only in terms of reporting the problems, procedures and results/innovations of inquiries and designs, but also in the construction of knowledge claims and persuasive arguments related to these science ideas and technology innovations. Science as inquiry and technology as design are emphasized in the current education reforms. Both disciplines could also be described as a form of discourse, an argument in which scientists and engineers attempt to construct knowledge claims about nature or innovations that is based on evidence, warrants, data and backings, and rebut counter-claims about these data and evidence. Such a view emphasizes the crucial role of literacy in science and technology. Achievement of science literacy and technology literacy is not possible unless the person becomes enculturated in the discourse community and proficient with the language of science and technology -the fundamental sense of science literacy.