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Title:Science Teachers Teaching Socioscientific Issues (Ssi): Four Case Studies
Author(s):Lee, Hyunju
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Witz, Klaus
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Secondary
Abstract:Socioscientific issues (SSI) are a class of issues that represent the social, ethical, and moral aspects of science in society. The need for the inclusion of SSI into science curricula has been generally accepted, but relatively few science teachers have incorporated SSI into their courses. Most science teachers feel that their most important task by far is to teach the principles of science, and any substantive pedagogical changes represent a burden. However, there are some teachers who address SSI out of personal initiatives. This dissertation study investigates four high school science teachers who address SSI out of their own initiative and explores their deeper inspirations, values, philosophies, and personal ideals that lead them to teach SSI. The overall approach is based on essentialist methodology (Witz, Goodwin, Hart, & Thomas, 2001; Witz, 2006a) with its focus on "the participant as ally" and "essentialist portraiture." The primary data source is four to six in-depth interviews with individual teachers (about 40-90 minutes for each interview). The interviews are complemented by extensive classroom observations of individual teachers' teaching SSI and by document analysis (including teaching materials, rubrics, student group projects and journals, etc.). There are two major findings. First, the teachers' deeper values and ideals are a source of larger inspiration that plays a significant role in changing their teaching practice. This inspiration may involve higher aspects (e.g., deep concern for students' development, unselfishness, caring, etc.) and commitment. Their teaching represents an integration of their personal experiences, values, concerns, and worldviews, which forms a larger inspiration for teaching. Teaching SSI is a part of this larger process. Second, the current curriculum reforms (STS, SSI, and NOS) only suggest theoretical ideals and do not effectively touch teachers' deeper values and ideals. Basically, the teachers are doing what they think is important for students and are developing their own approaches without any contact with the reform efforts. This brings some consequences in their teaching of SSI. Overall, this study suggests that real changes in science education can be achieved only if they are synchronized with individual teachers' deeper motivations.
Issue Date:2006
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:250 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/79909
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3223641
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006


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