Developing preservice science teachers’ socioscientific reasoning through socioscientific issues-focused course

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Mathematics and Science Education, Turkey

Approval Date: 2014




The purpose of this study was to investigate how preservice science teachers’ (PSTs) socioscientific reasoning changes in response to participation in a socioscientific issues-focused course. Socioscientific issues (SSI) are complex, uncertain, lack clear-cut solutions; require ongoing research and examining from multiple perspectives. Individuals should recognize the complexities associated with SSI, examine them from multiple perspectives and, appreciate the need for ongoing inquiry to negotiate and resolve them. For the purpose of this study, design based research with qualitative approach was used. A single group design was used to investigate the change in participants’ socioscientific reasoning before, during, and after SSI-focused course. A total of 33 PSTs enrolled in the Science-Technology-Society course were involved in the study. A semester-long course was designed with three phases. The course included teacher-led whole classroom discussions, teacher-guided group activities, and independent group activities. Data were collected through pre-post interviews, open-ended questions, reflection papers, video/audio recordings, and written reports. An initial analysis of interview data resulted in development of depth rubric to assess socioscientific reasoning in addition to the previous rubric. Results revealed that there was a significant improvement in PSTs’ socioscientific reasoning in terms of complexity, inquiry, and multiple perspectives before and after SSI-focused course. The results after first and second phases also revealed that PSTs’ socioscientific reasoning in terms of complexity, inquiry, and multiple perspectives developed gradually during the SSI-focused. The teaching and learning activities in SSI-focused course were discussed as potential source for the development of socioscientific reasoning among participants.