Capstone/Dissertation Title

Importance of Content Area Reading in Middle School Science

Term

Spring 5-11-2015

Capstone

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Vivian Johnson

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Bill Lindquist

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Barbara Elvecrog

Abstract

According to Freire and Macedo (1987) “reading does not consist merely of decoding the written word or language; rather, it is preceded by and intertwined with knowledge of the world” (p. 29). These authors believe that people need to be able to read, comprehend and decipher to achieve equality. Like Freire and Macedo (1987), my belief is that people need reading and comprehension skills to decipher information that is presented to them. Literature from this review will serve to validate findings in the study, and ultimately aid in holistically answering the primary research question: “How do middle school teachers describe their views about the teaching of reading instruction in science?” McMillan and Schumacher (2010) state that the “two major purposes of a [qualitative] study are to “ . . . describe and explore and to describe and explain” (p. 324). The purposes described by McMillan and Schumacher (2010) align with the current purposes of this study, which include: to explore how middle school teachers describe their views about the teaching of reading instruction in science; and to describe and explain how middle school teachers’ views and practices of reading instruction compare to research recommendations. These two aims were accomplished by using a qualitative, fixed-format survey, and a qualitative interview, conducted separately with three participants. A notable finding in this study’s data is that the majority of participants (science teachers) believe it is important that they teach students to read and understand the vocabulary specific to science. The results of the survey and the three interviews provide strong support for my beliefs regarding the importance of teaching reading in the content area of science.

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