Acar, Omer, Lutfllah Turkman, and Anita Roychoudhury. Student Difficulties in Socio-Scientific Argumentation and Decision-Making Research Findings: Crossing the Borders of Two Research Lines. International Journal of Science Education. Vol. 32, No. 9, pp. 1191-1206, June 2010.
Students' poor argumentation in the context of socio-scientific issues has become a concern in science education. Identified problems associated with student argumentation in socio-scientific issues are misevaluation of evidence, naive nature of science conceptualizations, and inappropriate use of value-based reasoning. In this theoretical paper, the authors propose that incorporation of decision-making research findings to argumentation research may help students overcome these problematic areas. For this aim, decision-making research findings about value-focused decision-making framework and common heuristics have been discussed. Specifically, the authors propose that explicit teaching of argumentation research should provide students a decision-making framework in which students can consider their values about a socio-scientific issue and assess different alternatives as well as incorporate teaching about common heuristics. The authors believe that this incorporation is necessary for a quality student argumentation in socio-scientific issues.
Bloom, Benjamin S. (1980). All Our Children Learning
. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN-10: 0070061203. ISBN-13: 978-0070061200. 275 pages. Published October 1980. A summary of Bloom's work.
Bybee, R., Taylor, J., Gardner, A., Van Scotter, P., Carson Powell, J., Westbrook, A., Landes, N. (2006) The BSCS 5E instructional model: origins, effectiveness, and applications
. Colorado Springs: BSCS. Executive summary and full report are available through the BSCS website.
An excerpt from the Introduction describes the contents: "Since the late 1980s, BSCS has used one instructional model extensively in the development of new curriculum materials and professional development experiences. That model is commonly referred to as the BSCS 5E Instructional Model, or the 5Es, and consists of the following phases: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation... This report summarizes recent research on the sequencing of science instruction, including laboratory experiences, in order to facilitate student learning. Specifically, the report provides a rationale and empirical support for the BSCS 5E Instructional Model."
Chamany, Katayoun. Teaching Cell Biology Today: Incorporating Contemporary Issues into a Collection of Teaching Modules A collection of activities for teaching cell biology topics built around issues.
Glasgow, N. A. 1997. New Curriculum for New Times: A guide to student-centered, problem-based learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. ISBN-0-8039-6498-6, ISBN-0-8039-6499-4.
"This is a step-by-step guide to designing problem-based learning across the curriculum. Contents show teachers how to develop student-centered, problem-based curriculum, manage student projects across a range of subjects and disciplines, assess projects using portfolios, and involve community members as project mentors. Numerous examples are provided of activities in various disciplines and at different learning levels with ideas to engage students. The concepts and suggestions offered are designed to expand the teacher's classroom toolbox, and practical examples are given of a variety of curricular models, ranging from traditional to less mainstream alternatives, to guide the creation, implementation, management, and assessment of curricular practice and student work. The needs for curricular accountability and classroom evaluation research by teachers are also discussed and the concerns of educators, administrators, parents, and other stakeholders are addressed."
Hazen, M.A, & Higby, M.A. 2005. Teaching an issues-based interdisciplinary course: diversity in management and marketing
. Journal of Management Education, 29 (3): 403-426.
"The authors examine their experiences of coteaching an intensive, interdisciplinary elective course for MBA students: Diversity in Management and Marketing. They address otherness, dialogue, energy, and change within this course and clarify issues that can arise when coteaching interdisciplinary courses. The authors list implications for instructors of all business-related courses."
Herreid, C.F. (2005). Using case studies to teach science
. Published in American Institute of Biological Sciences's Actionbioscience.org. Clyde Freeman Herreid, Ph.D., University at Buffalo, is the director of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science.
In this article, the author describes how case study teaching has gained a strong foothold in science education. He discusses variations on methodology and the increase in educational resources on the topic, including research which demonstrates improved learning when case studies are used.
Khourey-Bowers, Claudia. SERC Pedagogy in Action: Structured Academic Controversy
This is a module within the SERC website which provides the what, why, and how to facilitate a: "...cooperative learning strategy in which small teams of students learn about a controversial issue from multiple perspectives. The structured academic controversy technique is designed to engage students in controversy and then guide them to seek consensus." It can be used with issues-based instruction.
Kolsto, S.D., 2001. Scientific literacy for citizenship: Tools for dealing with the science dimension of controversial socioscientific issues
2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Sci Ed 85:291-310, 2001.
"This article offers a general framework for examining the science dimension of controversial socioscientific issues. Eight specific content-transcending topics to be emphasized in science education are proposed. The topics are grouped under the headings science as a social process, limitations of science, values in science, and critical attitude. Each topic is explored, and it is argued that knowledge of the topics can serve as tools for students' examination of science-related claims in controversial socioscientific issues. The underlying perspective here is empowerment and the needs of students as lay people. The need of society as a whole for decisions to be made on a broad and firm basis is nevertheless also included. The main reason for suggesting the eight content-transcending topics is to provide focal points for the future development of teaching models aimed at science education for citizenship."
Klosterman, Michelle L. and Troy D. Sadler. 2010. Multi-level Assessment of Scientific Content Knowledge Gains Associated with Socioscientific Issues-based Instruction. International Journal of Science Education
. Vol. 32, No. 8, 15 May 2010, pp. 1017-1043.
"This study explored the impact of using a socioscientific issue (SSI) based curriculum on developing science content knowledge. Using a multi-level assessment design, student content knowledge gains were measured before and after implementation of a three-week unit on global warming (a prominent SSI) that explored both the relevant science content and the controversy surrounding global warming. Measures of student content knowledge were made using a standards-aligned content knowledge exam (distal assessment) and a curriculum-aligned exam (proximal assessment). Data were collected from 108 students enrolled from two schools. Quantitative analysis of the distal assessment indicated that student post-test scores were statistically significantly different than their pre-test scores (F = 15.31, p less than 0.001). Qualitative analyses of student responses from the proximal assessment indicated that students, on average, expressed more accurate, more detailed, and more sophisticated understandings of global warming, the greenhouse effect, and the controversy and challenges associated with these issues following the three-week unit. Combined results from the proximal and distal assessments explored in this study offer important evidence in supporting the efficacy of using SSI as contexts for science education. In addition to a discussion of the components of an SSI-based curriculum, this study provides support for the use of SSI as a context for learning science content."
Krathwohl, and Anderson. 2001. Blooms Taxonomy
Lewis, Susan E. 2002. Investigating reformulated gasoline in an issue-based environmental science course
, May 2002, Volume 28, issue no. 2, pgs 15-20. Published by the Association of College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE).
"Project- or case-based education is an excellent means of providing students with hands-on, inquiry-driven educational opportunities. Developing effective course units, however, requires rethinking pedagogical strategies and sometimes teaching material with which we are unfamiliar. This paper describes a case-based unit on reformulated gasoline that was used in an introductory environmental science course for Honors students, most of whom were not science majors. In the unit, students were asked to wrestle with a conceptually difficult but very relevant issue: 'Should the EPA have waived the reformulated gasoline requirement for the Milwaukee area in the summer of 2000?' They were required to learn a variety of scientific concepts, as well as to understand the process of scientific research. Student assessment indicates that they were frustrated by the confusing and contradictory nature of the topic, but also found value in working through the complex issue."
Lewis, Susan E. 2003. Issue-Based Teaching in Science Education. September 2003. ActionBioscience.org.
In this online article, available for free at AIBS's ActionBioscience.org website, Susan Lewis shares her experiences using issues to engage students in her classes, describes what makes a good issue, and reflects on teaching and learning with issues.
National Research Council (NRC). 2000. How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school.
J. D. Bransford, A. L. Brown and R. R. Cocking (Eds). Washington, DC: National Academy Press. ISBN 0-309-07036-8.
From the Front Matter: "This expanded edition ofHow People Learn is the result of the work of two committees of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council (NRC). The original volume, published in April 1999, was the product of a 2-year study conducted by the Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning. Following its publication, a second NRC committee, the Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice, was formed to carry that volume an essential step further by exploring the critical issue of how better to link the findings of research on the science of learning to actual practice in the classroom. The results of that effort were captured in How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice, published in June 1999. The present volume draws on that report to expand on the findings, conclusions, and research agenda presented in the original volume."
Sadler, Troy D.; Klosterman, Michelle L. 2009. Exploring the Sociopolitical Dimensions of Global Warming. Science Activities: Classroom Projects and Curriculum Ideas, v45 n4 p9-13 Win 2009, published by Heldref Publications
. 1319 Eighteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802.
The authors present an activity to help high school students conceptualize the sociopolitical complexity of global warming through an exploration of varied perspectives on the issue. They argue that socioscientific issues such as global warming present important contexts for learning science and that the social and political dimensions of these issues must be featured along with the underlying science. The activity is structured as a jigsaw in which learners explore multiple perspectives on the issue of global warming as they work to develop recommendations for national policy.
Sadler, Troy D. 2002. Socioscientific Issue Research and Its Relevance for Science Education. Invited seminar presented to science education graduate students at the University of South Florida.
"Socioscientific issues encompass social dilemmas with conceptual or technological links to science. The process of resolving these issues is best characterized by reasoning which describes the generation and evaluation of positions in response to complex situations. This article presents a critical review of research related to informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues. The findings reviewed address: (1) the role of socioscientific argumentation in classroom science; (2) the influence of ideas about the nature of science on socioscientific decision making; (3) the evaluation of information pertaining to socioscientific issues including student ideas about what counts as evidence; and (4) the influence of an individual's conceptual understanding on his/her informal reasoning. The synthesis of the current state of socioscientific issue research provides a comprehensive framework from which future research can be motivated and decisions about the design and implementation of socioscientific curricula can be made. The implications for future research and classroom applications are discussed." Available through ERIC as a PDF.
Sadler, T.D., A. Amirshokoohi, M. Kazempour, K.M. Allspaw. 2006. Socioscience and Ethics in Science Classrooms: Teacher Perspectives and Strategies. Journal of Research in Science Teaching
. Vol. 43, No. 4, p 353-376, 2006.
This study explored teacher perspectives on the use of socioscientiﬁc issues (SSI) and on dealing with ethics in the context of science instruction. Twenty-two middle and high school science teachers from three US states participated in semi-structured interviews, and researchers employed inductive analyses to explore emergent patterns relative to the following two questions. (1) How do science teachers conceptualize the place of ethics in science and science education? (2) How do science teachers handle topics with ethical implications and expression of their own values in their classrooms? Proﬁles were developed to capture the views and reported practices, relative to the place of ethics in science and science classrooms, of participants. Proﬁle A comprising teachers who embraced the notion of infusing science curricula with SSI and cited examples of using controversial topics in their classes. Proﬁle B participants supported SSI curricula in theory but reported signiﬁcant constraints which prohibited them from actualizing these goals. Proﬁle C described teachers who were non-committal with respect to focusing instruction on SSI and ethics. Proﬁle D was based on the position that science and science education should be value-free. Proﬁle E transcended the question of ethics in science education; these teachers felt very strongly that all education should contribute to their students' ethical development. Participants also expressed a wide range of perspectives regarding the expression of their own values in the classroom. Implications of this research for science education are discussed.
Sadler, Troy, and Dana L. Zeider. 2004. Negotiating Gene Therapy Controversies. The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 66, No. 6, August 2004.
According to research, students often perceive the ethical implications of issues such as genetic engineering, but sometimes they are not equipped to handle multiple perspectives and articulate well-reasoned positions. A modified jigsaw activity, appropriate for secondary and introductory college biology classes, that introduces students to human gene therapy and many of the ethical arguments supporting or opposing the issue is presented.
Tanner, Kimberly D. 2009. Talking to Learn: Why Biology Students Should Be Talking in Classrooms and How to Make It Happen
. CBE—Life Sciences Education, Vol. 8, 89 –94, Summer 2009.
Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology
This article explains why it is important for students to talk with one another in the biology classroom, share evidence of the impact on their learning, and overcoming the barriers to making this happen.
TIEE is: "... a peer-reviewed web-based collection of ecological educational materials." It was developed by Charlene D'Avanzo (Hampshire College) and Bruce Grant (Widener University) with funding through a NSF CCLI grant and in collaboration with the Ecological Society of America. The materials are geared towards undergraduate ecology level courses. There is a section on "Issues" which provides background information, figure sets, student instructions, and notes to faculty for using the issues, as well as links to a "Teaching" section with definitions and description of active teaching techniques.
Tewksbury, Barbara. Having effective discussions in class. This Word document is part of the Cutting Edge Course Design Tutorial, specifically it is within Task 2.2b: Exploring Teaching Strategies. To find the Word doc, scroll down this web page until you get to "Effective Discussion."
In the Word document, Dr. Tewksbury acknowledges that there are many challenges to facilitating effective discussions in class and provides a number of techniques, things to look out for, and "critical aspects for success." She then provides a step-by-step example and template for instructors.
Wilmes, S. and J. Howarth. 2009. "Using issues-based science in the classroom." The Science Teacher
76(7): 24-29. Published by the National Association of Science Teachers.
Every day we are confronted with issues of varying degrees of complexity and importance. Which bags are better for the environment--paper, plastic, or neither? What precautions should be taken to reduce the spread of the H1N1 virus? Are there risks involved in eating genetically modified fruits and vegetables? What impact will the use of alternative sources of energy have on global climate change? Questions such as these present unique opportunities to incorporate personal, societal, and global issues into the science curriculum. This article provides some helpful resources for planning and using this type of instruction in the classroom.
Zeidler, Dana L. and Bryan H. Nicols. 2009. Socioscientific Issues: Theory and Practice. Journal of Elementary Science Education
, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Spring 2009), pp. 49-58.
Drawing upon recent research, this article reviews the theory underlying the use of socioscientific issues (SSI) in science education. We begin with a definition and rationale for SSI and note the importance of SSI for advancing functional scientific literacy. We then examine the various roles of context, teachers and students in SSI lessons as well as the importance of classroom discourse, including sociamoral discourse, argumentation, discussion, and debate. Finally, we discuss how SSI units, which encourage evidence-based decisionmaking and compromise, can improve critical thinking, contribute to character education, and provide an interesting context for teaching required science content.