, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 957-976
Date: 23 Apr 2013

Writing Like a Scientist: Exploring Elementary Teachers’ Understandings and Practices of Writing in Science

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Abstract

This qualitative study examined the connections between elementary teachers’ conceptions of how scientists use writing and how the teachers used writing during science lessons. Data collected included lesson observations, interviews, handouts to students, and curriculum resources. The findings revealed that teachers in this study thought scientists write for several purposes: the presentation of data, observations, experiences, procedures, and facts. The teachers used writing tasks that mirrored this with their students. The teachers also had a limited definition of creativity in writing, and when they had students write creatively in science it was to add in fictional elements. Implications of this study include providing teachers with better models for how and why scientists write, including these models in more inquiry-based science lessons, and directly relating concepts of nature of science to elementary science writing.