Expanding Teaching and Learning with Disciplinary Texts: The Case of Reading and Science

Cynthia Greenleaf, Kathleen Hinchman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

5 Scopus citations


The past decade has seen the emergence of new standards aimed at advancing literacy and learning in subject areas, increasing numbers of studies focused on disciplinary forms of literacy, and renewing controversies about the roles and capabilities of subject area teachers in fostering the development of these specialized literacies while teaching their subject areas to increasingly diverse student populations. This chapter takes a social practices view of disciplinary literacy, the role of texts in disciplinary inquiry and knowledge building, and the properties and characteristics of such texts. It reviews research about how texts and tasks figure into secondary subject matter instruction. Focusing on the case of science, it discusses how students are and might be engaged and supported to read disciplinary texts through meaningful, discipline-shaped inquiry practices, thereby gaining increased literacy proficiencies. Arguing that disciplinary literacy instruction, coupled with appropriate support to varied learners, offers the promise to simultaneously advance students’ engagement, reading skills, and disciplinary learning, the chapter calls for research that takes seriously the degree and level of challenge in moving the promise of disciplinary literacy instruction into practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Reading Research, Volume V
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781317384779
ISBN (Print)9781138937369
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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