Literacy in Science, Technology, and the Language Arts: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Literacy in Science, Technology, and the Language Arts: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Literacy in Science, Technology, and the Language Arts: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Literacy in Science, Technology, and the Language Arts: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Synopsis

Technology, a product of science, is pushing against the linear boundaries of traditional storytelling. Moving in the direction of multiform stories and digital formats takes literacy well beyond the 3Rs. Students increasingly need to be critical and creative users of the new media. As the Internet becomes faster, more visually powerful, and easier to manipulate there will be an explosion of virtual environments, with literacy taking on a whole new meaning. While the word literacy has become almost synonymous with the word competence, the authors prefer the definitions found in the new language arts and science standards. For example, the National Science Education Standards suggests that "scientific literacy implies that a person can identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed."

Excerpt

At one time, literacy was squeezed into an established framework of reading and writing. The meaning of literacy has changed as new circumstances have opened up a much wider range of possibilities. New communications technology is transforming teaching and changing how we come to understand the natural world. Seeing, hearing, writing, and reading with a multimedia computer changes the way we approach a subject and the whole dynamic of communication.

What will it mean to be literate in the next century? This book will attempt to shed light on that question as it concentrates on weaving the concept of literacy into the teaching of science and the language arts. Technology, a product of science, is pushing against the linear boundaries of traditional storytelling. Moving in the direction of multiform stories and digital formats takes literacy well beyond the 3Rs. Students increasingly need to be critical and creative users of this new medium. Even the formats imposed on the computer by older media are fading into the background as human communication is becoming less bound by time, space, and form. The Internet is a good example. As it becomes faster, more visually powerful, and easier to manipulate, there will be an explosion of virtual environments. Literacy takes on a whole new meaning as these parallel universes become more like a populated landscape than a billboard-strewn highway.

The word literacy has become almost synonymous with the word competence. We like to stay a little closer to the more traditional definitions found in the new language-arts and science standards. The National Science Education Standards (National Research Council . . .

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