Analysis of Action Research (Terrell, 1999 & Hicok, 2000)
Are teachers enabling students to be poor readers of science text by not routinely making reading assignments because students usually do not complete them? If students become more effective readers of science text will their attitudes and values towards reading change?
Scientific literacy involves more than reading a scientific text. For a student to be literate in science means that they cannot only identify the words of the reading, but they can also interpret the meaning of the text and apply it to the everyday world around them. According to the National Research Council (NRC), scientific literacy is the ability to “use evidence and data to evaluate the quality of science information and arguments put forth by scientists and in the media”. Literacy, according to Norris and Phillips (2003), requires the ability to both read and write scientific texts in richly constructed ways. Driver, Newton, and Osborne (2000) continue that a scientifically literate person can also understand and apply the fundamental elements of scientific argumentation, including claim, evidence, and warrants. Literacy has been and continues to be a popular topic among educators. However, much of the research is focused on the elementary and middle grades. During this time, students are taught general reading strategies such as previewing and summarizing. However, these strategies are not sufficient for reading more complex informational text.
As I read the two examples of this week’s action research articles, I was able to evaluate several helpful points that can assist me with my own action research project; however, I also can identify several issues with in the articles that needs to be addressed. The articles have a vast difference in writing style and their approach to the action research proposal and the process. Terrell (1999) provides an abstract that describes all the variables that will be covered in the study. What I specifically like about the article is that the beginning introduces the length of time with the study and the participants, as well as the purpose of the study and the results. Moreover, the opening abstract provides the demographics of the participants who make up the study population along with the context that is going to be implemented. In contrast, Hicok (2000) identifies the participants, but without much description until the explanation of the data collection. Ironically, her action research question specifically requests understand the unique needs of the students in the study, but it lacks details about the students and rather focus on the strategies for research. In addition, Hicok lacks many elements within her research question and the question is vague and lacks identities of the research. Efron & Ravid (2013) states “the question guides your decisions regarding the scope of the inquiry, the participants you choose, “the data collection and analysis techniques you have selected” (p. 56). Hicok’s question “How do I meet the unique needs of this population?” does not address or identify the necessary elements for research. In the purpose of the study section, she asks “how the implementation of various reading strategies improve achievement in the Science for ESL student?” This question also lacks the elements to identify the necessary elements for research. My analysis of the article suggests that she provide more information about her participant addressing the demographics and student’s unique needs.
In sum, the main goal of a recreational reading program is to provide an opportunity for children to read for pleasure. This can contribute toward enabling children to become lifelong readers by providing them with a safe, caring community, and a significant degree of choice about what, how, and why they are reading.
Efron, S.E. & Ravid, R. (2013). Action research in education: A practical guide. New York: Guiford Press.
Hicok, S. (2000). How Does the Use of Reading Strategies Improve Achievement in Science for Language Minority Students? Retrieved from http://cup.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-591434-dt-content-rid-17060968_1/courses/20152021060/resources/week2/HICOK-WE.PDF
Terrell, A. (1999). How Does Phonemic Awareness in ESL Learners Impact Reading and Writing? Retrieved from http://cup.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-591434-dt-content-rid-17060968_1/courses/20152021060/resources/week2/Terrell%20AR%20example%20week%202.pdf