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Title: Reading competence and Advanced level physics
Author: Fagan, Dorothy Violet
ISNI:       0000 0004 2705 8536
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1996
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Language, for various reasons, tends to be a neglected area in the school physics curriculum. Discussion of "literacy" in the context of science teaching is limited, and many teachers are unclear about the issues involved. However, so-called "active reading" exercises have had an impact on the science curriculum up to GCSE level as part of a broader campaign for enhancing reading for learning. This has helped to highlight reading in science but without necessarily clarifying the issues or attempting to integrate results with what might be called "standard measures of progress". This study uses reading exercises constructed around topics in the Advanced level physics course, to investigate reading among physics students. Evidence of student progress and achievement such as homework marks and the A level grade, are related to students' responses on the exercises, to obtain an objective assessment of the value of language-related activities. Reasons for the choice of texts and methodologies are two-fold: From the point of view of the physics teacher, to allow an investigation into the range of skills and abilities which students demonstrate on language-based material. For the students involved, to make participating in the exercises useful and relevant to their studies. Analyses are directed at looking at the text, task and responses individually from a linguistic as well as a pedagogic perspective, and more particularly at the relationships between the areas. Connections between reading competence and achievement in physics are shown and suggestions are made on how teachers could encourage reading, monitor the reading competence of students and identify students with problems. Implications for future research into language in physics are also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography, Enterprise, Mathematics and Science