Improving Science literacy through interdisciplinary collaboration using media reported science.

William McClune

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The capability to respond critically to science in the news is recognised as one aspect of science literacy. Consequently, science-related news reports are an essential resource for science teachers wishing to promote critical reading as the foundation of a critical response to media reported science. Consequently Science education in schools should prepare students to engage with informal sources of science, including news media, in the world beyond formal science education. An interest in science news media is not limited to the science specialist. Science news provides an authentic context for teachers of science and English to collaborate in promoting interdisciplinary learning. The challenges of using science related news, as a context for cross-curricular collaboration, highlight the professional development needs of both science and English teachers working in this context. This qualitative study with over 150 pupils involved secondary school science and English teachers working collaboratively using media reported science resources and collated data from interviews, pre and post intervention tasks, pupils’ classwork and teacher notes. The outcomes of the project showed pupil engagement and greater capacity to carry knowledge and skills across traditional subject boundaries. Teachers reported increased understanding of the pedagogy of the alternative subject specialist and increased confidence to move outside their subject in order to facilitate pupil learning. This study would suggest that adopting an interdisciplinary approach could enhance learning for pupils and increase the confidence and capability of teachers. Additionally teachers’ engagement in professional conversations focusing on pupil progress was noteworthy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationESERA
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2015
EventScience Education Research: Engaging Learners for a Sustainable Future - Helsinki, Sweden
Duration: 31 Aug 201504 Sep 2015


ConferenceScience Education Research: Engaging Learners for a Sustainable Future

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