Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type

Degree of Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Leadership


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Deniz Peker, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Richard Rogers, Ed. D.

Third Advisor

Lauren Neal, Ph. D.


Data literacy in science is an evolving field of study as students need to be able to collect, analyze, interpret, and make inferences from different sources of data. Much research centers on teachers' use of data to improve instructional practices, but less focus on teachers' conceptions of student data literacy and strategies used to foster data literacy in life and physical science high school classes. Thus, there is a need to address this area as recent Georgia assessments reveal that over 50% of students are performing below proficiency level in science. Consequently, this research sought to understand teachers’ conceptions of science data literacy and strategies used to foster data literacy in science. Moreover, the study aimed at identifying specific data literacy knowledge and skills teachers expect their students to possess, teachers’ conceptions of how students work through different concepts related to data literacy, and how these instructional strategies and conceptions of data literacy differ between life science and physical science teachers will be addressed. The present research employed the transformative learning theory, which suggests that conceptions are cultivated from beliefs, experiences, expectations, and purposes. Teacher conceptions were explored through the lens of the transformative learning theory. Purposeful sampling was used to select participants. Using a qualitative interpretivist paradigm and an exploratory case study design, interviews, observations, and document analyses were conducted to obtain data, which employed open, axial, and thematic analysis to develop themes. Major findings indicated teachers lacked confidence and needed additional training. Moreover, teachers believed that students’ past experiences impacted conceptions, expectations, and strategies used to foster data literacy. Visuals and models were a common way to represent data. Information gathered provided insight on science curriculums and designing professional development centered on data literacy.