Project Title: Historical Narratives in Science Learning
Research Team: Matt Kloser
Texts play a critical role in science research and science classrooms, yet most K-12 textbooks have failed to represent the epistemic elements of the science disciplines, including the justification of claims or references to empirical data. This line of research investigates students' reading experiences when engaging alternative text types that are more epistemologically considerate, that is, texts that better convey both what we know and how we know it to be true
Using narratives of historical experiments, these brief narrative texts have been shown in initial randomized trials to result in more interest from students, equivalent comprehension of core biology ideas, and higher performance on transfer tasks when compared to traditional textbook accounts. Current research is focusing on how students engage these alternate text types in group discussions and the impact of their use over the course of an entire course.
As a result of these studies, we look to create a set of historical narratives that are more epistemologically considerate than traditional science texts that can be used, in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Literacy Standards for Science, in middle and high school science classrooms.