Publication Date

2014

Abstract

In this chapter we propose to contribute to research in socio-scientific issues (SSIs) by putting forward a discussion of factors that influence science teachers’ SSI teaching and of the type of teaching needed to prepare students for active participation in SSIs. Contributions from researchers in four different European countries, Canada and Australia are presented. In an analytical perspective, two studies identified secondary science teachers’ viewpoints on SSI teaching and factors that positively influence the implementation of classroom discussion activities on SSIs. In an interventionist perspective, three studies investigated student teachers’ and teachers’ professional development towards promotion of student-led, research-informed activism to address SSIs or towards the implementation of inquiry-based science teaching (IBST) to develop students’ participation in complex environmental SSIs. Results from the diverse contributions showed that teachers’ views on the concept of citizenry differ, their views on their own competency differ and teachers’ competencies and concerns as teachers impact their interpretation of science curricula and views on SSI teaching. Different types of professional development, exemplified by student teacher courses and in-service action research, might to some extent change teachers’ views of SSI teaching or result in promising inquiry-based SSI teaching practices. A general hypothesis that might be drawn from this chapter is that science teachers’ concepts of citizenry and SSI teaching are essential for their effort to implement SSI teaching and for their success in preparing students for dealing with the complexity of SSIs.

Document Type

Book Chapter

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