Addressing socioscientific issues (SSI) has been one of the main focuses in science education since the Science, Technology, and Society (STS) movement in the 1970s (Levinson, 2006); however, teaching controversial socioscientific issues has always been challenging for teachers (Dillon, 1994; Osborne, Duschl, & Fairbrother, 2002). Although teachers exhibit positive attitudes for using controversial socioscientific issues in their science classrooms, only a small percentage of them actually incorporate SSI content into their science curricula on a regular basis (Sadler, Amirshokoohi, Kazempour, & Allspaw, 2006; Lee & Witz, 2009). The literature in science education has highlighted the signiﬁcant relationships among teacher beliefs, teaching practices, and student learning (Bryan & Atwater, 2002; King, Shumow, & Lietz, 2001; Lederman, 1992). Despite the fact that the case studies present a relatively detailed picture of teachers� values and motivations for teaching SSI (e.g. Lee, 2006; Lee & Witz, 2009; Reis & Galvao, 2004), these studies still miss the practices of these teachers and potential outcomes for their students. Therefore, there is a great need for in-depth case studies that would focus on teachers� practices of designing and teaching SSI-based learning environments, their deeper beliefs and motivations for teaching SSI, and their students� response to these practices (Lee, 2006). This dissertation is structured as three separate, but related, studies about secondary school teachers� experiences of designing and teaching SSI-based classes and their students's understanding of science and SSI reasoning. The case studies in this dissertation seek answers for (1) teacher's practices of designing and teaching SSI-based instruction, as well as its relation to their deeper personal beliefs and motivations to teach SSI, and (2) how their students respond to their approaches of teaching SSI in terms of their science understanding and SSI reasoning. The first paper presents case studies of three secondary science teachers within three high schools located along the Minnesota River Basin. The findings of this study documented the experiences of the participant teachers, as well as the contextual influences on those experiences. The second paper presents a case study of a science teacher and a social studies teacher which describes how these two teachers collaboratively designed and taught an environmental ethics class. The results of this study documented teacher's ways of sharing responsibilities, bringing their content and pedagogical expertise, and promoting the agency of their students in the environmental ethics class. The final paper in this dissertation presents case studies of secondary school students who were the participants in the SSI-based science classes described in the first two studies. The results of this study provided evidence for participant student's understanding of science and their socioscientific reasoning, as well as how they were influenced by the instructional decisions their teachers made.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2015. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Gillian Roehrig. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 222 pages.
Case Studies of Secondary School Teachers Designing Socioscientific Issues-Based Instruction and Their Students’ Socioscientific Reasoning.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.