10 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
Socioscientific issues (SSI) are the dilemmas in which both society and science play an important role (Sadler, 2004). SSI are open-ended problems which do not have clear-cut solutions. There can be multiple plausible solutions to SSI that are not necessarily determined by scientific considerations (Sadler, 2011). Although science and society are inseparable from each other, these issues arouse more societal interest, affect and consequence. The technological developments, which affect society closely, such as constructing a nuclear power-plant, gene cloning, and tissue transplant, can be given example to these kinds of issues. The issues are influenced by different societal factors including politics, economics and ethics (Barab, Sadler, Heiselt, Hickey, & Zuiker, 2007; Sadler, 2011). Incorporating SSI in science teaching have crucial role in raising responsible citizens (Kolstø, 2001).
Studies indicated that reaching the expected outcomes of SSI teaching is influenced from student characteristics like content knowledge (Sadler & Zeidler, 2005). It is also effected from the design of the SSI instruction and teacher characteristics (Lee & Witz, 2009; Sadler,2011). The researchers proposed frameworks to guide effective SSI teaching (Sadler, Foulk, & Friedrichsen, 2017; Saunders & Rennie, 2013; Presley, Sickel, Muslu, Merle-Johnson, Witzig, Izci, & Sadler, 2013; Zeidler, Sadler, Simmons, & Howes, 2005)). Presley et al. (2013) defined the core aspects influencing the effectiveness of SSI teaching and learning which are design elements, learner experiences and teacher attributes. The researchers argued that teachers’ familiarity with the SSI being considered is one of the core aspects of effective SSI-based instruction. In order to guide students’ learning in SSI-based instruction teachers should be both knowledgeable about the science content related to the issue and aware of the social considerations associated with the issue (Presley et al., 2013). For effective SSI teaching, teachers should be aware of the political, economic, and ethical issues related to the SSI (Sadler, 2011). Therefore, in this study, pre-service science teachers’ knowledge on the taught SSI was considered important in their SSI-based instruction. For this purpose, the influence of the PSTs’ knowledge about the selected issue context on their SSI teaching practices was investigated. In this sense, the following research question was investigated.
- How does PSTs’ knowledge about the SSI influence the effectiveness of their teaching practices?
This study is part of a broader three-year educational design research (McKenney & Reeves, 2012) with a purpose of developing senior PSTs’ effective SSI teaching practices in a one-semester undergraduate course. The re-designed undergraduate course was implemented in 2014 fall and 2015 fall semesters in the elementary science education program at a public university located in Turkey. The numbers of PSTs enrolled on the course were 36 in the first implementation and 44 in the second implementation. All PSTs voluntarily participated in the study. There were eight groups in each implementation. There were five main stages in the course. At the first stage, PSTs were expected to learn what SSI and SSI-based instruction is through readings and classroom discussions. At the second stage, PSTs observed effective SSI teaching examples. Then, at the third stage, they were expected to prepare lesson plan in groups (GLP) and practice this one-hour SSI lesson in the classroom based on their lesson plan. At the reflection stage, PSTs were guided to reflect on their own and other groups’ teaching performances. For this purpose, all PSTs were expected to write reflection papers at the beginning of the course to comment on their abilities or SSI teaching (RP¬_1). They were also write guided reflection papers after their teaching performance to evaluate their own SSI teaching practices (RP_2). Moreover, after their teaching performances, video-stimulated recall interviews (VSRI) were conducted with groups and post-teaching structured interviews (PTSI) were conducted with 21 volunteer participants to encourage them to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching. Finally, at the last stage, PSTs were expected to design a SSI-based lesson, individually. All of the interviews were transcribed verbatim. Then, reflection papers and interviews were analyzed through inductive content analysis to determine the core consistencies and meanings (Patton, 2002). Another researcher in science education field coded ten percent of the data separately and the inter-rater consistency exceeded 85%. Reflection papers and interviews were used for the same purpose to triangulate data. Moreover, in order to ensure trustworthiness of the data, prolonged engagement was used. While one of the researchers was the instructor of the course, the other researcher participated in all of the activities in the course and build trust with participants so that participants’ sincere answers were obtained in the interviews and reflection papers.
Based on the analysis of lesson plans and PSTs’ statements, their knowledge on the selected SSI was influential in the effectiveness of the subsequent processes of their SSI teaching practices. Eight codes were emerged under four categories, which are determining the objectives, managing SSI argumentation, synthesizing key ideas and practices, and assessing, as the processes influenced from the PSTs’ knowledge on SSI. Firstly, PSTs with limited knowledge on SSI had difficulty in writing objectives. Their objectives were generally on the knowledge level. Only the groups who were quite knowledgeable about the SSI wrote objectives up to synthesizing level. Moreover, effective groups in SSI teaching attributed their success in managing SSI argumentation to their preparedness about the arguments about the case and their scientific knowledge. They stated that they did not had difficulty in meeting students’ needs in understanding evidences, encouraging students for constructing arguments, for finding counter-arguments and for finding rebuttals. PSTs who were not quite knowledgeable on SSI topic had difficulty in synthesizing key ideas and practices. These groups were not successful in guiding students to reach a collective decision by synthesizing the arguments from different perspectives. On the other hand, becoming aware of the arguments helped PSTs to guide synthesizing activities in the classroom. For example, one group managed a panel discussion at the end of the lesson for determining classroom decision on the issue effectively. The manager of the panel stated that he was well-prepared for the arguments from all different perspectives. Lastly, PSTs’ knowledge on SSI also influenced their assessment practices. The PSTs who were not confident in their SSI knowledge had difficulty in deciding what to assess and evaluating the quality of students’ arguments. To conclude, PSTs admired the need for being well-prepared for the SSI topic to increase their effectiveness of SSI teaching.
Barab, S. A., Sadler, T. D., Heiselt, C., Hickey, D., & Zuiker, S. (2007). Relating narrative, inquiry, and inscriptions: Supporting consequential play. Journal of science education and technology, 16(1), 59-82. Kolstø, S. D. (2001). Scientific literacy for citizenship: Tools for dealing with the science dimension of controversial socioscientific issues. Science Education, 85(3), 291 – 310. Lee, H., & Witz, K. G. (2009). Science teachers’ inspiration for teaching socioscientific issues: Disconnection with reform efforts. International Journal of Science Education, 31, 931-960. McKenney, S., & Reeves, T. C. (2012). Conducting educational design research. NY: Routledge. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. London: Sage Publications. Presley, M. L., Sickel, A. J., Muslu, N., Merle-Johnson, D., Witzig, S. B., Izci, K., & Sadler, T. D. (2013). A framework for socio-scientific issues based education. Science Educator, 22(1), 26-32. Sadler, T. (2004a). Informal reasoning regarding SSI: A critical review of research. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(5), 513-536. Sadler, T. D. (2011). Situating socio-scientific issues in classrooms as a means of achieving goals of science education. In T.D. Sadler (Eds), Socio-scientific issues in the classroom: Teaching, learning and research (pp. 1-10). New York: Springer Sadler, T.D., Foulk, J.A, & Friedrichsen, P.J. (2017). Evolution of a model for socioscientific issue teaching and learning. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, 5(2), 75-87. Sadler, T. D., & Zeidler, D. L. (2005). The significance of content knowledge for informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues: Applying genetics knowledge to genetic engineering issues. Science Education, 89, 71–93 Saunders, K. J., & Rennie, L. J. (2013). A pedagogical model for ethical inquiry into socioscientific issues in science. Research in Science Education, 43(1), 253-274. Zeidler, D.L., Sadler, T.D., Simmons, M.L., & Howes, E.V. (2005). Beyond STS: A research-based framework for socio-scientific issues education. Science Education, 89, 357–377.
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