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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Literature-based Reading and Writing as Tools to Improve Science Learning

Sheila Vaidya.

The need for this project stems from the national need to address the 'achievement gap' between middle class and poor students.

National data make it clear that we expect so little of students in high poverty schools. The Educational Testing Report entitled How Teaching Matters and the Report of the Visionary panel Achievement Matters (2000) make it clear that there is no substitute for a good teacher. Teacher quality matters more than anything else. Student learning depends largely on teachers who know their subjects and know how to teach the content.

This project is about supporting 'high literacy' not just basic literacy. High literacy is reflected in a students' ability to engage in reading, writing and discussion about content in the classroom, generate and discuss ideas to put their knowledge and skills to use in new situations, and to perform well on reading and writing assessments including standardized tests.

Can Literacy skills be taught? Literacy skills can be taught and to do so we can use literature as a instructional scaffold. Classroom and curriculum innovations will also be further discussed.


Sheila Vaidya  (United States)
Associate Professor in Education
School of Education, Faculty of Education
Drexel University

Dr. Sheila R. Vaidya is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Drexel University. Her research work has been in the area of learning disabilities, computer programming with young children and teacher education. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled Understanding the Achievement Gap.
Dr. Vaidya's Ph.D. is in Educational Psychology. She is also a Certified School Psychologist.

  • Literature-based Reading and Writing to support science learning

(30 min Conference Paper, English)