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Abstract

This action research study investigated the impact of teaching physics using a disciplinary literacy framework for instruction across all units in one academic year. Through a suite of vocabulary strategies and lessons that encourage students to write, speak, draw, mathematically translate, and design experiments, students learn to do physics by approximating problems and tasks like physicists. The data from this study suggests that students who exhibit these physicist-like disciplinary literacy behaviors may perform better on math-based assessments so long as they employ disciplinary literacy strategies while problem solving. By teaching via a disciplinary literacy framework, the classroom may become more student-driven where disciplinary literacy behaviors are observable which may result in higher scores on teacher evaluation instruments that favor student-driven instruction. While students that exhibit disciplinary literacy behaviors seem to perform better at math-based problem solving tasks, the relationship between phenomena visualization and corresponding mathematical fluency is less clear and requires further research.

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