There have been calls for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education to become more interdisciplinary, reflecting the reality of contemporary research. However, communicating across disciplines is challenging. In this article, I explore what and how students read in the STEM disciplines`. I provide an overview of key topics in literacy research, and discuss the disciplinary nature of literacy. I compare disciplinary literacy requirements in STEM through thematic analysis of UK quality subject benchmark statements, which identifies considerable variation in the expectations of undergraduates to engage with primary research literature. I explore implications this has for interdisciplinary teaching, and present some published pedagogical strategies for engaging students in research literature. I call on STEM educators to embed inclusive disciplinary literacy teaching within curricula to support students in their reading. I also highlight the need for clear understanding of disciplinary conventions and reading expectations when designing interdisciplinary educational programmes.
Hubbard, K. (2021). Disciplinary literacies in STEM: what do undergraduates read, how do they read it, and can we teach scientific reading more effectively?. Higher Education Pedagogies, 6(1), 41-65. https://doi.org/10.1080/23752696.2021.1882326