30 SES 15 A, Systematic Reviews and ESE
Scientific literacy is one of the most important goals in the science education (Nuangchalerm, 2010; Sadler, 2004). However, there is no consensus on the definition of scientific literacy. Roberts (2007) differentiated scientific literacy as Vision I and Vision II. While Vision I focuses only the scientific context such as processes and principles, Vision II focuses not only the scientific context but also the authentic context including societal, ethical and political issues (Presley et al., 2013). Similarly, Erduran and Jiménez-Aleixandre (2007) expressed that the goal of science education is to provide students to comprehend the societal issues as well as the scientific concepts. For this purpose, Zeidler et al. (2009) pointed out that integrating socioscientific issues (SSI) into the science education provides students to comprehend these moral, ethical and personal issues within the scientific context. By definition, SSI are complex, open-ended, often contentious dilemmas with no definitive answers (Sadler, 2004). They generally tend to be “controversial; multi-faceted; subject to multiple, sometimes, contradictory perspectives; and connected to scientific concepts” (Herman et al, 2018, p. 146). Therefore, using SSI in the science instruction can contribute significantly to achieve scientific literacy by providing students to acquire understandings and skills regarding the scientific practices such as reasoning, argumentation and decision-making (Presley, et al., 2013) on the societal issues including moral, ethical, economic, political etc.
Besides the international efforts to achieve scientific literacy, Turkey also realized the importance of scientific literacy and integrating societal issues into the curriculum. When the related literature was examined, it was revealed that the researchers have been widely studied on these issues in both national and international contexts (Presley, et al., 2013). According to Herman et al. (2018), SSI often requires some environmental considerations. Within this scope, SSI include various real world issues including “contentious environmental issues (CEI)” such as climate change, hydrofracturing and the introduction of flora and fauna into natural communities, therefore using SSI framework as a pedagogical tool serves a purpose of dealing with the multiple contexts including Environmental Education (Herman et al., 2018). As a consequence, environmental issues can be considered as ideal candidates to be covered in the context of SSI to achieve scientific literacy and civic responsibility for the environment.
The rationale behind the present study is the need to be up-to-date and follow the recent studies in order to direct the future research. For this purpose, content analysis technique is frequently used by the researchers. It provides the researchers not only to understand the trends and patterns, but also gain insights into problems and hypotheses that they can study on (Fraenkel et al., 2012). In this way, the researchers can notice that which variables were investigated and make bigger contributions regarding environmental-responsibility and scientific literacy.
In parallel to this rationale, the focus of present study is to reveal the empirical studies regarding the environmental problems in the context of SSI between the years 2016 and 2020 by searching the major educational journals both in international and national contexts. The rationale behind the selection of time period is that previous recent reviews regarding the empirical studies on SSI covered the time period until 2015 (Tekin et al., 2016; Değirmenci & Doğru, 2017).
The present study answers the following research question:
- What are the characteristics of articles regarding the environmental problems in the context of SSI between the years 2016 and 2020 in the major international and national educational journals selected in terms of (a) total number, (b) publication year, (c) sample, (d) research design, (e) data collection techniques, (f) data analysis procedures, (g) topics, (h) focus outcomes and (i) context as global and local issues?
The present study adopted content analysis technique, one of the qualitative research designs. The empirical studies regarding the environmental problems in the context of SSI were determined as content to be analyzed. In order to locate these studies, major educational journals both in the international and national contexts were identified as sources of content: Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST), Science Education (SE), Research in Science Education (RSE), International Journal of Science Education (IJSE) and Science and Education (S&E) in the international context; Education and Science (E&S), Hacettepe University Journal of Education (HUJE), International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST), Turkish Journal of Education (TJE) and Pegem Journal of Education and Teaching (PEGEGOG) in the national context. The selection criteria were (a) the selected journals (for the international context) have the highest impact factors among the science education journals with 3.210, 3.035, 1.568, 1.325 and 1.265 respectively (Zhu, 2018) and (b) some other content analysis studies and reviews utilize these major journals in their scope (Tsai & Wen, 2005; Lee et al, 2009; Tekin et al, 2016) so that the outcomes can be compared. For the national context, although they do not have impact factors except E&S, they can be accepted as qood-quality journals in the field. Throughout the abstract, the international and national contexts are presented as “IC” and “NC”; the percentages are presented as “(% for IC; % for NC)”. In the extent of the present study, while IC means the journals published in several countries other than Turkey including the United States and European countries (Netherlands and United Kingdom); NC means the journals published in Turkey. Regardless of the nationality, the articles produced by Turkish author(s) but published by an international publisher were accepted as IC or vice versa. While databases were searched using appropriate keywords, the selection criteria were (a) the articles published in the selected major journals (b) the articles published between the years 2016 and 2020 (c) the articles regarding SSI in science education (d) SSI related to environmental problems and (e) the articles that present the first hand empirical studies. By considering these criteria, the articles that present theoretical approaches, studies from other disciplines, books, position papers and articles whose full text could not be accessed were excluded. Finally, in total, 82 articles (n=68 for IC; n=14 for NC) from the literature met the criteria for the content analysis.
Although there was a fluctuation between the years, articles in IC (n=68) is more than in NC (n=14). This might be resulted from the number of issues yearly published (Tekin et al., 2016). Also, while IC focuses on only science education, NC focuses on education in a general manner including other disciplines. Both in IC and NC, most of the studies (79,4%; 50,0%) were conducted with students; followed by pre-service teachers (11,8%; 42,9%); in-service teachers (7,4%; 7.1%). There is a need to study with in-service teachers (Topçu et al., 2014). Both in IC and NC, most of the studies (39,7%; 50,0%) employed a qualitative design; followed by mixed and quantitative. In contrast to Topçu et al. (2014), employing qualitative methods became more prevalent. Both in IC and NC, the most preferred data collection techniques are “questionnaire & survey” (38,7%; 43,3%); followed by interview and written materials; the least preferred one is student artifacts (4,0%) like concept map. Similarly, Eğmir et al. (2017) presented that the most frequently used data collection tools were questionnaire, interview, documents; the least preferred ones were alternative/complementary evaluation. Both in IC and NC, most of the studies (39,7%; 57,1%) adopted qualitative data analysis. However, the percentages of mixed and quantitative approaches differ. Both IC and NC focus on global issues (69,1%; 71,4%) more than local ones (26,5%; 28,6%) and studies mostly used multiple topics (29,4%; 35,7%). Climate change, biodiversity and alternative energy sources were common. While only two studies covered both global and local issues in IC, there is no study like that in NC. Both in IC and NC, argumentation & discourse (30,6%; 11,1%), knowledge (18,1%; 22,2%), reasoning (15,3%; 11,1%) were common outcomes. While IC also focuses on skills including critical thinking, systems thinking, problem-solving and inquiry (9,7%), NC focuses on pedagogy/teaching (16,7%).
Değirmenci, A., & Doğru, M. (2017). Analysis of Research on Socio-Scientific Issues Made in Turkey: A Descriptive Analysis Study. The Journal of Buca Faculty of Education, (44), 123-138. Eğmir, E., Erdem, C., & Koçyiğit, M. (2017). Trends in Educational Research: A Content Analysis of the Studies Published in International Journal of Instruction. International Journal of Instruction, 10(3), 277-294. Erduran, S., & Jiménez-Aleixandre, M. (2007). Argumentation in Science Education: Perspectives from Classroom-Based Research. Springer. Fraenkel, J., Wallen, N., & Hyun, H. (2012). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education (8th ed.). New York: Mc Graw Hill. Herman, B., Sadler, T., Zeidler, D., & Newton, M. (2018). A Socioscientific Issues Approach to Environmental Education. In G. Reis, & J. Scott (Eds.), International Perspectives on the Theory and Practice of Environmental Education: A Reader. Springer, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67732-3_11 Lee, M.‐H., Wu, Y.‐T., & Tsai, C.‐C. (2009). Research Trends in Science Education from 2003 to 2007: A content analysis of publications in selected journals. International Journal of Science Education, 31(15), 1999-2020. doi:10.1080/09500690802314876 Nuangchalerm, P. (2010). Engaging Students to Perceive Nature of Science Through Socioscientific Issues-Based Instruction. European Journal of Social Sciences, 13(1), 34-37. Presley, M., Sickel, A., Muslu, N., Merle-Johnson, D., Witzig, S., İzci, K., & Sadler, T. (2013). A Framework for Socio-scientific Issues Based Education. Science Educator, 26-32. Roberts, D. (2007). Scientific Literacy/Science Literacy. In S. Abell, & N. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Science Education, 729-780. Sadler, T. (2004). Informal Reasoning Regarding Socioscientific Issues: A Critical Review of Research. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(5), 513-536. Tekin, N., Aslan, O., & Yılmaz, S. (2016). Research Trends on Socioscientific Issues: A Content Analysis of Publications in Selected Science Education Journals. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 4(9), 16-24. doi:10.11114/jets.v4i9.1572 Topçu, M., Muğaloğlu, E., & Güven, D. (2014). Socioscientific Issues in Science Education: The Case of Turkey. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 14(6), 2327-2348. doi:10.12738/estp.2014.6.2226 Tsai, C.-C., & Wen, M. (2005). Research and trends in science education from 1998 to 2002: a content analysis of publication in selected journals. International Journal of Science Education, 27(1), 3-14. doi:10.1080/0950069042000243727 Zeidler, D., Sadler, T., Applebaum, S., & Callahan, B. (2009). Advancing reflective judgment through Socioscientific Issues. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 74-101. Zhu, C. (2018). 2018 Journal Impact Factor (JCR 2018). Clarivate Analytics.
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