Scientific Literacy Literature Review

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Literature Review
The level of scientific literacy has been measured in different ways using various instruments. Ozdem, Cavas, Cavas, Cakiroglu and Ertepinar (2010) examined the scientific literacy levels of elementary students who were enrolled in grades 6, 7 and 8. Data was collected from 946 student’s ranging from ages 12 to 15 from several elementary schools located in Turkey. Student’s scientific literacy levels were assessed using The Test of Basic Scientific Literacy (TBSL) questionnaire which was developed by Laugksch and Spargo in 1996. This instrument consisted of 110 closed-ended items related to the dimensions of scientific literacy and were divided into three sub-categories; physical settings, human organisms and the living environment.
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It consisted of 15 items; 9 open-ended questions and 6 multiple choice items. Student’s responses to these instruments were measured both before and after the being taught using metacognitive instruction. Findings indicated that reading scientific texts embedded with metacognitive instruction were effective in developing 4th-grade scientific literacy. Researchers who conducted studies at the secondary level also report a positive relationship between Scientific Literacy and achievement after being exposed to an intervention designed to increase their Scientific Literacy. In their study Mbajiorgu and Ali (2001) investigated the relationship between the Science-Technology-Society Approach (STS), Scientific Literacy and achievement in Biology. A total of 246 student’s ranging from ages 16 to 18 years from four secondary schools in Nigeria were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control groups. Two instruments were used to test the outcome of the treatment. These included the Achievement Test on Reproduction and Family Planning and a Scientific Literacy Scale (SLS) consisting of 20 closed-ended items. The Scientific Literacy Scale was developed by Aikenhead, Ryan and Fleming and covered three aspects of Scientific Literacy. Findings revealed a weak positive relationship between Scientific Literacy and achievement in Biology for the experimental group. This relationship appeared to have been mediated by the Science-Technology-Study approach. Glasgow (1986) conducted a study on 643 grade nine Jamaican students to determine how specific factors affect their Scientific Literacy. This sample was selected from schools in the urban capital of Kingston. These factors included student’s reading level, the science tone of their homes, early schooling, their motivation and mental

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