Scientific literacy, e-literacy and illiteracy: the interaction between two pupils and one simulation

Joe McLuckie, Susan Rodrigues, Neil Taylor, Graham Williamson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper explores the influence of symbolic or representational learning materials on pupil engagement or learning outcomes, when 14-16 year old pupils use common types of science simulation. The project pilot phase involved three (15-16 year old) male pupils and a main phase involved twenty-one (14-15 year old) pupils. A retrospective accounts methodology (Clarke, 1998) presented pupils with a digital record of their 'think aloud' (Ericsson & Simon, 1984) behaviour with simulation, and they were asked for retrospective comment. Pre- and post-surveys were also used. This interaction record for two boys is used to illustrate the findings. This record was chosen because the boys spoke aloud throughout the period of engagement, which generated useful data for microanalysis. Findings suggest that pupils working with science simulations face a trans-disciplinary demand (computer competence, information processing skills, traditional langugage proficiency, and science understanding). In terms of using common science simulation. They need to understand their subject, be confident and comptetent with the available technology, and possess language skills that enable them to establish links between the microsocpic, macroscopic and symbolic components of science.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-14
    Number of pages10
    JournalScience Education International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • E-literacy
    • Illiteracy
    • Scientific literacy
    • Simulation


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