Science of Reading: The Podcast

Summer '22 Rewind: The symbiotic relationship between literacy and science with Jacquey Barber

July 13, 2022 Amplify Education Season 5 Episode 11
Science of Reading: The Podcast
Summer '22 Rewind: The symbiotic relationship between literacy and science with Jacquey Barber
Show Notes Transcript

Jacquey Barber, director emerita of The Learning Design Group at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, joins the podcast to discuss her research on the symbiotic relationship between literacy and science, as well as what educators should be looking for in high-quality, literacy-rich science curricula. She also goes into strategies for engaging students, including the do, talk, read, write model, then ends the episode by highlighting the many ways science supports reading.

Show notes:

UCLA CRESST

The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System—and How to Fix It by Natalie Wexler

No More Science Kits or Texts in Isolation by Jacqueline Barber and Gina Cervetti.

Podcast Discussion Guide

Quotes:

“Literacy is a domain in search of content; science is a domain in need of communication.”
—Jacquey Barber

“Develop opportunities for students to learn to read, write, and talk like scientists do.”
—Jacquey Barber


Susan Lambert:

Hi all! Susan here . Thank you so much for helping Science of Reading: The Podcast reach over 2 million downloads. We couldn't have done it without you listening and spreading the word about the show. Over the next few weeks, while we're hard at work on something special for season six, we're featuring four of our favorite episodes from our first five seasons. To start things off, we want to share an episode from our very first season with Dr . Jacquey Barber, now director emerita of the Learning Design Group at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science. This episode focuses on the important relationship between reading and other content areas. In this case, science. Building broad background knowledge and associated vocabulary is important for reading comprehension. Listen in as Jacquey talks about how she discovered that literacy and content need to be partners. Without further ado, here's my conversation with Jacquey Barber. Well, Jacquey, welcome. And thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you for inviting me, Susan. I'm really excited to talk to you and sort of get into the meat of literacy and science. But before we do that, we always like our guests to just tell our listeners how they ended up in the early literacy space. So how is it that you became interested in literacy? So truthfully I fell into the literacy world sort of accidentally, as a science educator. I had been working with K–8 teachers and designing science curriculum materials for many years. And it was about 20 years ago when reading instruction first began occupying the majority of every school day in elementary classrooms ,that we started seeing the unintended consequences of subjects like science and social studies, all but disappearing from the school day , particularly in the lower grades. And in my work with schools , teachers in multiple districts said they were told by their principals to not worry about teaching science; some told us that their principals were forbidding them to spend time on science until reading scores improved! Yes, it's true. My favorite—some of the science-loving teachers at more than one school that had been working with us said they had to sneak science teaching into their days. Oh my! <Laugh>

Jacquey Barber:

So we conducted some focus groups with teachers, including teachers who'd previously been teaching science in the elementary grades, and asked them what would they need in order to be able to teach more science? And the response we got was that any time spent doing science would need to do some work for them in helping their students learn to read and write. And it was around that time, I reached out to P. David Pearson , a reading researcher who h ad just come to the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Education as Dean. I think it was about 2002. In any case, I asked him, cold, whether he would like to collaborate on thinking about what a combined science and literacy approach to teaching and learning would look like. And David is a fabulous guy. His immediate response was yes < laugh>. And I believe he said, a quote that—haunt is the wrong word. More, h a s been a theme for me over the years. And that is that literacy is a domain in search of content. And at the time I really didn't know how right that was. But I was just happy to have a willing collaborator to help me take on the problem tha t el ementary teachers weren't able to spend class time on science. And so David and I began a partnership that would last many years and launch me into a new space, the space of developing the opportunities for students to learn, to read, write, and talk like scientists do.

Susan Lambert:

That's great . That's a great story. So I know we were talking about the fact that you said, "No, I want, I really want your listeners to understand that I'm not a literacy person; I'm really a science educator!" <Laugh>

Jacquey Barber:

It's true.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah. But you were drawn in. So, and for our listeners, let's make just a little sideway step here for our listeners that don't maybe know about David Pearson's work. Can you describe a little bit what his claim to fame is or , what he's known for?

Jacquey Barber:

Yes, David...the list is long. I'll start—David has had a huge impact on what we know about how to help students learn about and then apply strategies for understanding what they're reading in becoming strategic readers and comprehenders. David's work has looked carefully at interactions between students and teachers with an eye toward figuring out what works for increasing students' proficiency in reading. Out of that grew the Gradual Release of Responsibility model. The "I do , we do, you do." And far from least he's really been someone who has helped to uncover and capitalize on the significance of world knowledge in reading and learning from text. I think I'll stop there.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah, no, I think that's great because I loved what you said about how, you know, you were a science educator in need of literacy and, you know, he said sort of literacy is sort of struggling in its need of content. So it seemed like a great, like a great partnership.

Jacquey Barber:

Yes.

Susan Lambert:

So let's talk a little bit then about why is that so important? So we know like teachers were saying, "If I'm gonna teach science, I have to do some work with reading and writing." But you found even more than that, right? Like you found it's really important to have a literacy-rich approach to science. Can you talk to us about why that's important?

Jacquey Barber:

Yes, for sure. So when my team and I first started working with David and his team—which, by the way, included other literacy researchers, Gina Cervetti, Marco Bravo, just to name a couple—we began with some pilot research and that pilot research compared student learning and engagement using three different approaches to addressing the same collection of science topics. And we made sure that in each of these groups, that each of these approaches, that they were best of class. So in group one , it involves students in mostly doing hands-on experiences and talking. In group two, it involved students in mostly reading and writing. And in group three, it involved students in doing and talking and reading and writing about those topics. And the result from this early pilot research that was most striking was how little knowledge students in group one gain. That's the group that involves students in a hands-on dominant approach. And this typical hands-on dominant approach to teaching science was fun. It engaged the students in doing...but resulted in shockingly few knowledge gains. And I have to say that I was , I was sort of devastated at that moment.

Susan Lambert:

Right.

Jacquey Barber:

It represented a lot of how I spent my career. The second most striking result was that in group three, the group that was engaged in the doing and the talking and the reading and the writing, we observed a broad range of rich student gains across knowledge and practice. And so from then on, it really seemed to us that a multimodal approach that had the potential to give all students access, to figuring out some specific knowledge while simultaneously building their ability to engage in the science practices, that would help them continue to be lifelong learners and critical thinking citizens, et cetera , et cetera . And so it was based on the promise of these pilot results that we subsequently engaged in several years of research and development and focusing in on developing what we started calling our Do, Talk, Read, Write approach in classrooms. And so as we worked in classrooms, we worked on gathering evidence and learning about learning and teaching as we went.

Susan Lambert:

Hmm . And let's talk a little bit about that model, the Do, Talk, Read, Write model. If I remember correctly, it's not linear; it's a circle. So you can enter that place any place in the process. Is that right?

Jacquey Barber:

Absolutely right, Susan. And it's not lockstep at all. And I'll start out by saying that the idea of engaging students in doing and talking and reading and writing won't sound revolutionary to many, right ? Because those are the modalities that you will see in an elementary classroom over the course of a day. What we mean by Do, Talk, Read, Write is that for each important science idea or phenomenon, students have an opportunity to engage with that science phenomenon through doing , gathering firsthand evidence through talking student-to-student talk, through reading, through writing. And by the way, later on, as we were to develop this model, we would add Visualize. Do, Talk, Read, Write, Visualize. But in these early days, we were focusing on Do, Talk, Read, Write. This approach gives students multiple at-bats where they have the opportunity to engage multiple times with that same scientific phenomenon. And so by providing students with those multiple opportunities to engage with the phenomenon, we're allowing them to gain deeper expertise, even become expert , about a particular topic area. We give students time to become facile with the language of science. They have time to talk and make sense of a phenomenon. They have the opportunity to read about a particular aspect , perhaps answering a specific question they had. And they get to write about what they figured out, something they're usually pretty excited to do.

Susan Lambert:

It sounds like what the actual work of a scientist is.

Jacquey Barber:

That's exactly right. <laugh> You know, this is something we would want to—if this is how scientists figure out about the world, wouldn't we want to offer that to our students as well?

Susan Lambert:

Yeah, yeah. Like you said, sometimes it feels intuitive, but sometimes, you know, the most important things are the things that are the most simple. Making, like just a quick connection. I know we had a conversation—we had an episode with Tim Shanahan recently where he talked about—he used the term "disciplinary literacy" differently than we've used content-area literacy in the past. When you think about disciplinary literacy and how it relates to science, how would you define or describe that?

Jacquey Barber:

Yeah, that's a really great question there. It's funny—when we first started working to develop this Do, TalkRead, Write approach , we thought of it as combined science and literacy , And that was before the next generation science standards came out. When in fact, the reading, writing, and talk are now defined as authentic science practices. And you can see—so for instance, if you look in the science and engineering practices in the next-generation science standards, you see practices related to constructing scientific explanations; engaging in argument from evidence; obtaining, evaluating and communicating scientific information. So these practices are part and parcel of the discipline of science. And this is what Tim Shanahan, E lizabeth Moje and others really talk about, have called the area of disciplinary literacy. It's the literacy of the discipline.

Susan Lambert:

Hmm . And that is a different kind of instruction than what might happen in an ELA classroom. And sort of the reason I bring that up is because you were talking about those three groups earlier, right? The ones that did the hands-on science, the ones that were sort of just reading about science, and then the ones that did both of those things. That middle group that was just reading about science, they were maybe building knowledge, but they weren't like actually applying it in quite the same way , within the discipline of science. Do I have that right?

Jacquey Barber:

Exactly right. There are really specialized practices that are involved in reading science texts like a scientist, in writing science text , in engaging in science talk , what counts as evidence in science, all these kinds of things, these ways of thinking. It's different in different disciplines. And so that really , helped guide our way as well. And so when people ask me about our approach, I think about this approach really as approach to science teaching and learning. Even though it is literacy-rich, or I would say, especially because it's literacy-rich.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. And, and even the vocabulary in science is different than what we would use in, like, everyday words. So.

Jacquey Barber:

Yes. Yeah . So one of the things you asked me about this, Susan, earlier, is any evidence we have about this. And I wanna say that we partnered with UCLA CRESST Center and they conducted three gold-standard studies on this Do, Talk, Read, Write approach , with groups that were randomly assigned to either some units that we created that instantiated this Do, Talk, Read, Write approach, or to content-comparable business-as-usual units. And the results showed that this careful integration of reading, writing, and talk with hands-on experiences was actually a more powerful way to learn about science. So across the board, the students using the Do, Talk, Read, Write approach to learning had stronger conceptual gains than students in the comparison group, in which the teachers used a wide range of approaches , including more traditional kit-based and text-based approaches. And I guess the bonus was that across these three studies, we saw impressive gains in student science vocabulary knowledge. And depending on the study, we saw gains in students' abilities to read science texts, to write science explanations, and to engage in science talk. And these literacy gains were despite the fact that teachers also reported spending more time teaching science at the expense of their literacy blocks. And so—kind of the <laugh> the thing that I always laugh about is that my initial crass desire to just have more class time for science actually led me to the design and recognition of a more effective way to teach science. One that is literacy-rich. And when I think back to David's initial comment that literacy is a domain in search of science...yes, we observed that when students were engaged as scientists figuring something out, they were more motivated to read to figure that thing out. They were excited to share their discoveries, in talk and through writing. It really is, as you said earlier , sort of a perfect marriage. And I would say kind of the corollary to what David said, that science is a domain in need of communication. That students who learn using a literacy-rich approach to science actually learn more science.

Susan Lambert:

Wow. That's really powerful. Just that statement that maybe making a connection to what we're hearing across the country about a knowledge-rich curriculum—that when you actually bring something to the center of the investigation, like you call it, or the center of the classroom when kids are actually learning about stuff, that it motivates them and actually helps them in their literacy journey.

Jacquey Barber:

Yes . Yes.

Susan Lambert:

That's really, really, really cool . So you talked a little bit about NGSS and since we're talking about knowledge, I know that NGSS has sort of shifted students' relationship to this idea of knowledge. Can you talk to us about that?

Jacquey Barber:

Right. The next-generation science standards' vision of teaching and learning shifts students' relationship to knowledge by calling for students to figure out phenomena, not learning about topics. So figuring out, not learning about. And so let me just spend a minute trying to unpack that.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah. Please. <laugh>

Jacquey Barber:

So first, what is meant by scientific phenomena: phenomena are observable events that occur in the natural world. Or actually in the universe, that we notice, and about which scientists and the rest of us have become curious. So it's those curious things that we are observing, and in a phenomenon-based approach, students investigate that phenomenon, that thing that is curious, by asking questions , by researching information, and coming up with an explanation of why or how that phenomenon works. Just like scientists do. And like scientists, in a phenomenon-based approach to learning, students gather evidence from firsthand sources . So investigations with real phenomena, investigations with modeled phenomena, investigations with primary source data like video or audio, photos. And like scientists, they also gather evidence from secondhand sources. So trusted science texts and data other scientists have collected. And in practice, this is really different from what we used to call inquiry-based science. What past standards called for. Which was typically limited to gathering evidence from firsthand investigations. It's also different from text-dominant science that limited students to gathering evidence from secondhand sources. So this phenomenon-based science really requires firsthand and secondhand sources of evidence. You actually can't figure out phenomena without access to this range of evidence sources, including firsthand and text sources of evidence.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah. That's interesting. Can you take it to a super-practical level? So what would that look like for a kid's experience in a classroom around a specific topic?

Jacquey Barber:

Yeah, great question. So , let's take an example of an investigation to figure out what magnets attract. So this is a really common inquiry-based, wonderful inquiry-based investigation, where students have magnets a nd a pile of stuff, and students sort things into groups: those things that are attracted to magnets and those that are not. And they notice a pattern. Metal things are attracted to magnets. But wait, there's some metal things that are not attracted to a magnet. And so this is the moment when all of us did some k ind o f hand wavy explanation, < laugh> y eah. Or just told students that, "Oh, magnets attract some metals and not others." But why? And that's where you can't figure out that "why "with just a firsthand investigation. And figuring out why is something where w e really need to expand our sources of evidence. So students can investigate the question of, "I wonder what different metals are made of," and by looking at secondhand data on the composition of different metals, t hey can look at what—first of all, many kids are surprised to find out that metal isn't one thing. Even they might h ave observed that, and that there are a lot of kinds of metal. And as they start to look at the composition of different kinds of metal, they can notice another pattern. And t hat is that different metals contain different and significant amounts of iron. And it's through this, they can actually figure out, "Oh my gosh, these metals that were attracted to magnets all have a significant amount of iron, and these other metals like aluminum foil, or, a b r ass b rad or our stainless steel kitchen sink, these are things that weren't attracted to magnets." So this is an example of how to figure out the phenomenon, to figure out more than "what." The hands-on gave us "what," here are the things that were attracted, but "why" really required that kids would dive in, t o get some—in th is c ase, some secondhand evidence, some evidence from other scientists who figured out what the composition of metals were. So this is an example where the text-based evidence and the firsthand evidence both are necessary to really figure out not just the "what" but the "why" of the phenomenon.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah, that's great. So the doing and the reading part coming together and the talking and the writing also important too. But that makes a lot of sense to me. I remember as a classroom teacher doing those magnet experiments and not having any clue what to do next with that. So that's really helpful. And on the flip side of that, there's just no way that you can, like, read a book about magnets and not experience it—you know, it would not come alive to the kid in quite the same way.

Jacquey Barber:

Oh, absolutely. It's, it's not something that we can skip the firsthand experience or would ever want to.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. So that makes me think then about—oh my goodness. again, when I was a classroom teacher, I had kits of stuff and things to do and, you know, teachers need quality curriculum in their hands. So when we're thinking about this idea of bringing investigations together with literacy, what should we be looking for in high-quality science curriculum?

Jacquey Barber:

Oh , great question. So in looking for high-quality science curriculum, I always suggest that , folks should look for curricula that in addition to firsthand experiences with real phenomena, h elps students engage in reading, writing, and talking like scientists. The second thing I always say, to quickly follow that, is that this practicing science requires specialized skills, as we were talking about, and knowledge for reading, writing, and talk, and we're not born knowing how to do those. So high-quality science curricula not only should help students engage in reading, writing, and talking like scientists, but should provide some explicit instruction in how you read, w rite, talk, argue like a scientist does. I've already mentioned this, but I'll say again, high-quality science c urricula should involve students in focusing on phenomena rather than topics. So a curriculum unit that has students figure out, for instance, how hoverboards work, focuses students on explaining a phenomenon. And that might be in contrast to a unit on the broader topic of force i n motion that marches kids through t hose topics. Or a curriculum unit that's focused on the question of why there seems to be more and stronger storms than a decade ago is focused on having students explain this phenomenon. Whereas a unit just on weather a nd climate is more likely to cover topics. So looking for those curricula that have kids tackle phenomena. And then something that's just really practical, but high-quality science curricula should enable kids to engage in deep dives into content. And what that means is spending longer in working to explain a phenomenon than any of us have thought. Students need time to engage with t he phenomenon through multiple modalities. They need the opportunity to gain that depth of knowledge that will serve them by helping them to build their background knowledge for tomorrow. They need the opportunity to dig deep enough to enable them to gain that explanatory power. And if you think about kind of history of science curriculum and where we as a field have fallen short it's that mile-wide, half-inch-deep "let's see how much we can cover, " rather than giving kids time to become expert and really gain that depth of knowledge. And I'm continually amazed in seeing students as young as kindergarten really quite capable at becoming expert and knowledgeable, deeply knowledgeable, in different areas. So I think I'll stop with those four things.

Susan Lambert:

No, that's really good. That's great. Super-helpful. And I was making a connection while you were talking about that. As a literacy person, I often talk about how we use our ELA block to help teach kids how to use text to gain new knowledge. And what I tell teachers is, "Yes, we might do a topic, let's say about w eather, that we're providing some background knowledge on w eather, and we're helping kids learn how to extract ideas from text, but you wouldn't wanna use that as your approach to teaching science." And I think I've been telling them the right thing. Because what I heard you just say, "No, actually our approach to science then would be about the phenomena we observe and then underpinning that then is the quest for knowledge to help support understanding that phenomena." Does that sound right?

Jacquey Barber:

Yes . Yes, absolutely. And I think , you know, we spend a lot of time in the units we develop in thinking about what is the knowledge that students will need to be able to come up with an explanation. An explanatory understanding of a phenomenon. And kind of break that down and decompose that and make sure that we provide the opportunities for students to be able to engage with that knowledge. And sometimes, just starting out with a—w e call it a pre-assessment, s omething that helps us figure out what students are coming in with, w h at knowledge they're coming in with and what knowledge mayb e not .

Susan Lambert:

And then at the end of the unit, then you're able to then say how much have they gained.

Jacquey Barber:

Yes, for sure. Then we, we revisit that at the end. But it's that point about not assuming that students all come in with the knowledge that they will need. And, you know, it turns out that actually even adults < laugh> d on't always have the prior knowledge that they might need in—especially as we approach middle school—concepts in science. But even in elementary I think that it's pretty safe to assume that we're gonna need to start at the beginning and find out what our collective knowledge as a class is about this, and kind of go from there.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah, yeah , yeah . That makes a lot of sense. And , again, this is just a side step for just a minute, but I'm wondering how especially elementary teachers feel about a more literacy-based approach to science. Because in my experience as an administrator, or even as a teacher, elementary teachers seem to be afraid of teaching science. That they don't have enough content knowledge, or background knowledge. Are you finding an approach with literacy, like, helps soften that blow, if you will ?

Jacquey Barber:

Definitely. I think of it—the kind of on-ramps to teaching science that come when teachers see that we are engaging students in some of the same things that they have engaged students with in their reading context. And so it's a real comfort area , for sure, for teachers.

Susan Lambert:

Hmm . Well, I know when we were talking earlier , we were talking a little bit—you mentioned that you really saw a parallel between this idea of skills, focus , content-free science, and sort of skills, focus , content-free literacy. So this—you know, the Science of Reading, of course, that's what this podcast is all about. And the Science of Reading tells us that you need both skills and you need background knowledge or content to come together. Can you talk to us about what that, what you see that parallel to be?

Jacquey Barber:

Yes, yes, for sure. And it's really struck me. And I mentioned earlier on that early pilot study we did where we had the students in group one who were engaged with what at the time we considered to be a high-quality science inquiry unit. And this particular unit students built desktop terraria. And they did lots of wondering, and observing and comparing and recording. Really important inquiry skills. But I already shared our findings that they failed to come away with new knowledge about the underlying science ideas there. When the focus was on inquiry-based science , the emphasis was on what students were doing. That they were engaging in science practices. And so in an inquiry-based approach, all too often we were having students do to DO, and the focus was on those skills. And now with the focus on phenomenon-based science, the focus is not on doing to do. The focus is on the thing that students are working to figure out. And so they're still engaging in science practices, but those practices are for a purpose tied to figuring out knowledge. And they aren't just limited to hands-on experiences. so in a phenomena-based approach, students are doing to UNDERSTAND. And that includes gathering evidence from firsthand sources and from secondhand sources. So there's sort of a difference between doing to DO, where we were really focused on those science skills, and doing to UNDERSTAND, where the practices are for the purposes of constructing knowledge.

Susan Lambert:

Hmm . And just to make a connection back to what you said—I think you, you said one of the things in a high-quality science curriculum is that it's actually the doing part, some of that is actually explicitly taught. About how you go through some of those steps.

Jacquey Barber:

Yes. Yeah . Yes. That is, not assuming that students know how to engage in these different practices. Yes.

Susan Lambert:

Right, right. And then paralleling that to what you understand the Science of Reading community to be talking about now...how is that connection for you?

Jacquey Barber:

Well, you know, I was reading some of the Knowledge Gap book that Natalie Wexler wrote. And she had these wonderful examples of what was happening in classrooms that had kids focusing on engaging in skills, and yet , they were not coming away with the knowledge that one would have hoped them to come away with. And I thought that, yes, this kind of echoes what has happened in classrooms, and in my own classrooms, < laugh> w here, where we were focusing on engaging students with those skills as the transferable part, and not really realizing that without engaging in the knowledge, the skills themselves aren't even—they're not even science practices when they aren't for the purpose of engaging students a nd in building knowledge! I don't know if that makes sense.

Susan Lambert:

It does. It makes sense to me, for sure. And it's like—it's hard in retrospect, isn't it, to look back? I've heard you pause a couple of times and say, "but I thought this inquiry was the thing and it broke my heart when I found out it wasn't the right thing." < laugh>

Jacquey Barber:

It's very true. Very true and very painful.

Susan Lambert:

<laugh> Well, lucky for our listeners, you have just finished a book , part of Nell Duke's series called "Not This but That ," and it's called "No More Science Kits or Texts in Isolation." Can you just give our listeners an overview of this? I mean, it is phenomenal. It's a phenomenal read.

Jacquey Barber:

Well, thank you, Susan. It was a really fun book to write and is one I wrote with Gina Cervetti. I mentioned her earlier. And in this series, the first chapter really defines the problem in practice and the second chapter is a summary , a digest, of the relevant research about why it's a problem and what instead we might wanna be doing. And then the third section is about practical things that one can do that are based on the research, that address the problem t hat's described at the beginning. And so the problem we d escribe u pfront is really that experience we had, which is reading and writing without hands-on, and kind of doing and talking without reading and writing and, how really the answer lies in the middle with a mix of all of that: of doing and talking and reading and writing. And the research really supports that. So we share with readers three principles. And the first is "frame student investigation with a scientific purpose." And the really easy way to think about this is asking ourselves, "What are students trying to figure out?" And if you can't answer the question of what they're trying to figure out, then it probably doesn't have a scientific purpose. And it is not phenomenon-based. We joke by saying that students can't figure out a topic < laugh>, they're figuring out a phenomenon. And so that framing student investigations with a scientific purpose is something that we can all kind of easily make that shift. The second principle is "integrate hands-on science with literacy to support science learning." And so the question that I always, you know, we ask ourselves is "how a re students going to be figuring out the thing that they're working to figure out?" And the Do, Talk, Read, Write, Visualize is a really helpful list to have, because if I've engaged them in some reading, then maybe I wanna add some doing, o r some visualizing. Likewise if they're just Doing, this is an opportunity to engage them in some of the other science practices, t o figure out. So the third principle is, " help students read, write and discuss text in science." And this is the part about not assuming that students know how to read, write, and talk like a scientist, th at t hese are things that we learn how to do.

Susan Lambert:

Hmm . It's great. So I have the book right here in my hand, and it's about 113 pages long. What you just described, those first two chapters, take up 32 pages. Which is a really slim amount. And the rest of it is the "but that," or the takeaways, the actual practical classroom stuff, complete with graphic organizers and charts and lots and lots of examples. So for our listeners, it's just a very practical takeaway text to change classroom. So we will be sure to link our listeners in the show notes to that book , so they can order it for themselves like I did. And I got mine at Amazon Prime overnight, just so that I can be prepared for today! <Laugh>

Jacquey Barber:

Thank you, Susan.

Susan Lambert:

Yeah . Well, we really appreciate you as a guest today. It was such a fun conversation. And we always like to close just by asking one or two things or ideas or concepts you would like our listeners to take away or to consider.

Jacquey Barber:

<sigh> So in many ways we as a field have made great strides in moving our thinking , and more slowly our practice, forward. But still there's a trend line and we're moving forward on it. However, there's still a problem with elementary science and I spoke about the abrupt drop in time spent on science that happened in elementary classrooms around the year 2000. And here we are 20 years later. And it turns out that it's actually worse now. And the 2018 version of the National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education shows that K—3 teachers report spending a n average of 18 minutes per week on science.

Susan Lambert:

Wow.

Jacquey Barber:

And that is actually a 22% decrease since the year 2000. And grade 4—6 teachers reported spending an average of 27 minutes per week. And that is a 13% decrease since 2000. And I'm still hearing as recently as last month about—this was a superintendent in a large district , actually a super-smart superintendent, who nonetheless made the decision to not adopt a new science program for K—5 students because the focus in the district needs to be on reading. And that makes me think about David's initial comment to me that literacy is a domain in search of content. There's plenty of research to show this symbiotic effect that science and literacy have on each other. in addition to that, which we have done in our Do, Talk, Read, Write approach, there's lots of other research, And this research all shows that potential, that learning to read and reading to learn in the context of science really enhances the outcomes for reading and for science rather than detracts. And it reduces the likelihood that students will be engaging in knowledge-free reading instruction. So if I could have one thing that folks leave with, it's the idea that it's a win to teach science for reading.

Susan Lambert:

And it's a win for students too, because they like to learn things, right?

Jacquey Barber:

Yes. Yeah . The engagement is there.

Susan Lambert:

For sure. Well, thank you so much for your time again today. And for your wise words, Jacquey. We appreciate you being here. Thank you so much, Susan, for inviting me. Thanks so much for listening to my conversation with Jacquey Barber, which we first released in May 2020. Check out the show notes for more from Jacquey, as well as other relevant resources. And if you haven't already please join our Facebook discussion group Science of Reading: The Community.