If I had a teacher like Will Brown for chemistry as described in Schoenbach and Greenleaf’s “Fostering Adolescents’ Engaged Academic Literacy,” I might have actually taken it at some point in high school or college. Instead, I shied away from challenging course like chemistry because I feared not succeeding. Brown not only taught the content material for chemistry, more importantly, he taught text-based problem-solving skills his students could take into any classroom. From the first day, he creates a learning atmosphere that acknowledges the students will not know the answers all the time, and that’s okay.
By modeling for the students how to read complicated chemistry articles, the students learn more than just chemistry. They learn how to “(1) clarify any confusing words or ideas, (2) ask questions that come to mind about the science, and (3) summarize as he read before moving on” (102). I would imagine that many chemistry teachers would balk at the notion of teaching metacognitive reading strategies. After all, how is that their responsibility? Who should teach it?