Scientific Literacy (SL) has become the standard way to formulate the purpose of learning science in schools in terms of knowledge, citizenship, action competence and critical thinking. These tendencies are visible in both global initiatives as PISA, which estimate 15-year-old students’ levels of scientific literacy. In addition, most countries formulate their curricula in terms of SL, for example in Sweden there are three capabilities mentioned in the syllabus. All three point towards use of skills and critically evaluate knowledge in relation to societal issues.
Although the above-mentioned policy documents distinguish scientific literacy as desirable, achievable and definable, the research community still argues about the importance of “what”, “how” and “why” areas in relation to scientific competence. Still no clear-cut definition is at place but following groundwork from Roberts (2013), about two overall visons are important. The visons deals with two ways of achieving literacy, and with two different emphases. On the one hand (vison I), starting with science concepts and exemplify them in relation to issues and events outside science. Vison II, on the other hand, assume issues and events in society and seek how science can enlighten these issues.
The research program Literacy and Inclusive Teaching (LIT) ponders issues in the space between potential general generic literacy and disciplinary literacies related to different subjects. In this, context Norris and Philips (2003) suggest the idea of a fundamental and derived sense of scientific literacy as an analytical lens. In short, the idea is about fundamental literacy and ways of focus on reading, writing and talking in and about science. The derived sense deals with arguing and acting with a science knowledge base, pointing more towards general literacy.