New Literacy Implementation: The Impact of Professional Development on Middle School Student Science Learning

New Literacy Implementation: The Impact of Professional Development on Middle School Student Science Learning

Hui-Yin Hsu (New York Institute of Technology, USA), Shaing-Kwei Wang (New York Institute of Technology, USA) and Daniel Coster (Utah State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3832-5.ch026
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Abstract

With advancing technology, “literacy” evolves to include new forms of literacy made possible by digital technologies. “New literacy” refers to using technology to research, locate, evaluate, synthesize and communication information. The purpose of the study is to develop a framework to guide science teachers' new literacy practices, and examine the impact of new literacy approach on students' science learning and new literacy skills. The authors worked with 25 middle school science teachers through a two-year professional development (PD), and followed their implementation to investigate the PD impact on their classroom practices and students' learning outcomes. The authors adopted mixed-methods to examine change in teachers' new literacy practices, students' science learning outcomes, and students' confidence in new literacy skills. The study results showed increases in teachers' frequency and types of new literacy practices, positive impact on students' science learning and confidence in new literacy skills. Factors affecting teachers' new literacy practice are also reported.
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Introduction

Literacy skills are critical to build knowledge in science. Advancing technology has redefined “literacy” to include new forms of literacy made possible by digital technologies. “New literacy” refers to using technology to research, locate, evaluate, synthesize, and communicate information. The definition of literacy has evolved to include a set of skills broader than reading, writing, and comprehending (Leu et al., 2004). These new forms of literacy are required to succeed in the 21st-century college and workforce. It is imperative to investigate how teachers are prepared to strengthen students’ new literacy skills to facilitate their learning in science. The purpose of the paper is to report our effort to provide professional development to middle-school science teachers and prepare them to integrate technology into their classroom through the new literacy framework.

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