Interesting article by Julia Steiny regarding impressive work going on in Westerly, RI with use of Writing to enhance students’ work in Science. You can find the article at link:
Effective instructional leaders support the work of any teacher to teach across the curriculum–using the venue, skills, and activities of one subject area (in this case Writing) to enhance and bring alive the work in another subject area (in this case Science). Two things trouble me about the Steiny piece:
1. While I appreciate Steiny highlighting this type of teaching across the curriculum, but failing to articulate the importance of students being hands-on and hands-in their Science work is troubling. There is only so much our kids (of all ages) can effectively learn from reading, writing, and discussing Science. They must get their hands on and in the work.
2. Take a look at the comments below the article. Like in many comments under a piece of electronically stored journalism, weirdness often abounds. One commenter mentions that fluency in early age writing cures dyslexia. No question that early achievement in all strands of literacy (Reading, Writing, and Speech) can help resolve the effects of obstacles of cognitive development; however, writing fluency does not “cure” dyslexia. I suppose our best defense against the distraction and misleading nature of comments under any piece of journalism continues to be ignoring the comments (like I always try to do). Still, it is troubling that such comments seem to gain traction. Educators, please don’t spread the word that writing fluency cures dyslexia. We can effectively intervene on dyslexia. Doing so requires competence, not pandering to weird comments that are unfounded.
Still, writing as part of the work in Science can be good and important for kids’ learning in Science. Let’s say it is important but not sufficient.