Expanding the Role of K-5 Science Instruction in Educational Reform: Implications of an Interdisciplinary Model for Integrating Science and Reading

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Abstract

Addressed is the current practice in educational reform of reducing time for science instruction in favor of traditional reading/language arts instruction. In contrast, presented is an evidence-based rationale for increasing instructional time for K-5 science instruction as an educational reform initiative. Overviewed are consensus interdisciplinary research and complementary multi-year findings of the Science IDEAS model demonstrating the effectiveness of integrating conceptually-relevant reading within science instruction in improving student achievement in both science and reading comprehension. Based on research summarized, increasing time for integrated K-5 science is advocated as a meaningful reform-based approach to science learning and reading comprehension proficiency that, in turn, better prepares students for subsequent success in science and content-area reading comprehension across upper elementary and middle school grades (3–8).

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