Middle School Students’ Informal Reasoning and Argument Quality for Different SSI

Uygun C. B. , Yilmaz Tüzün Ö.

National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual International Conference, 7 - 10 April 2021

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished


This study focused on exploring the middle school students’ informal reasoning across three different SSI, and investigating the middle school students’ argument quality across three different SSI, namely space debris (SPD), genetically modified organisms (GMO) and nuclear power plants (NPP). Survey and instrumental case study approach was utilized. A total of 14 students (11 female, 3 male) interested in the socioscientific issues were constituted the participants of this study, and they all voluntarily participated. Four of the students were in the 7th grade, ten of them were in the 8th grade. The participants’ written arguments regarding three different SSI were coded based on the SEE-STEP Model and a total of 60 coded expressions were obtained. It was found that the participants mostly used value (65%) in their arguments mostly supporting GMO; followed by knowledge (32%) mostly supporting NPP, and personal experience (3%) mostly supporting SPD. Similarly, the arguments were mostly from the subject areas of science (30%); followed by environment and ethics/morality (22% for each). The participants reported that they were more certain about their decisions regarding SPD and GMO topics. More in-depth data were also observed for each participant.