Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wade Smith


Supporting the development of scientifically literate students is a priority in public school education, and understanding how that development is influenced by the Common Core State Standards is vital to quality science education. However, little quantitative research has been conducted about how the Common Core State Standards impact science education. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine how the alignment of science curriculum and instruction to the Common Core English Language Arts State Standards impacts the development of students' scientific literacy skills. Bybee's framework for scientific literacy provided the theoretical framework. Participants included 7 middle school students in Grades 5-8 in a rural community located in the western region of the United States. The summer school science intervention teacher integrated Common Core English Language Arts Standards into a biological science curriculum developed by Marsh. Scientific literacy was determined by student results on released items from the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Results from assessments in this study indicated an improvement of 5.5% when comparing pre to posttest scores in scientific literacy, though not statistically significant when analyzed using ANOVA. Recommendations include a need to increase research in rural education about scientific literacy for K-12 students, and about the impact of Common Core State Standards on science instruction. This study contributes to positive social change by providing educators and researchers with a deeper understanding of how to improve science literacy for all students.