Curriculum for High School Oceanography with an Emphasis in Laboratory Writing

The need for adequate curriculum for teachers is paramount. Without current and relevant curriculum, teachers both new and experienced can find teaching a new class frustrating and difficult. This thesis project focuses on creating a high school oceanography curriculum with an emphasis on laboratory writing for the Escondido Union High School District (EUHSD) to replace an old outdated and irrelevant curriculum. The curriculum consists of 16 embedded laboratory writing assignments which use either of two writing strategies; the Scientific Writing Heuristic and Mode Continuum model, which was chosen to best provide students the opportunity to apply prior knowledge to new ideas and concepts, reflect on what they have learned, and to allow students to write explanations for their laboratory findings. This curriculum will be implemented during the 2012-2013 school years by all oceanography teachers in the EUHSD and will be evaluated during professional development time for recommended revisions and additions. Future projects and research for this curriculum will be the addition of more laboratory writing assignments, other styles of writing strategies, and future research should be done to test the effectiveness of the writing assignments on student achievement. This curriculum will add to the growing number of high school oceanography laboratory assignments while also providing a template for increasing writing to a laboratory science class.