Reflective Science: An exploration of the uses of Reflective Dialogue Journal writing in secondary science classrooms.

Year: 2000

Author: RYAN, R

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on critical action research into the scientific literacy of secondary school students, as evidenced in student Reflective Dialogue Journals. Focussed on one secondary school classroom located in Brisbane, Australia, the research draws on literature concerned with writing and its use across the curriculum, particularly as this relates to scientific literacy and the nature of science. Specifically the interest of the research is with philosophies of science rather than the transmission of scientific constructs. The paper suggests that individual student reflections and teacher-student dialogue, made possible through such journal writing, provide significant opportunities to support students' development of complex understandings on the nature of science. Informed by a concern for matters of social justice, the paper also contemplates what such an approach to learning science might mean for marginalised students, particularly those differentiated on the basis of their gendered identities.

The paper concludes that while initial results appear promising, longitudinal research into the value of reflective writing in science classrooms is now required.