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The fact-value intertwinement: Investigating upper secondary students’ decision-making concerning socioscientific issues
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences. (SMEER)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences. (SMEER)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to explore students’ argumentation and decision-making relating to an authentic socioscientific issue (SSI) – the problem of environmental toxins in fish from the Baltic Sea. An instructional exercise module was designed to develop students’ ability to argue about complex multi-disciplinary issues. Seven science majors in the final year of their upper secondary studies participated in the this studyinstructional exercise. Their argumentation and decision making processes were followed closely and data were collected during multiple stages of the instructional moduleexercise: group discussions were tapedaudio recorded, the participants wrote reports on their decision making and submitted them for analysis, and post-exercise interviews were conducted with individual students. The analysis focused on the skills of evaluation demonstrated by the students during the exercise and the relationships between the values, knowledge and experiences that they used in their argumentation. Even though all of the students had access to the same information and agreed on the factual aspects of the issue, they came to different decisions. All of the students took counter-arguments and the limitations of their claims into account, and were able to extend their claims where appropriate. However, their decisions differed depending on their background values, knowledge and experiences (i.e. their intellectual baggage).

Keyword [en]
Socioscientific issues, SSI, Decision-making, Informal argumentation, Intellectual baggage
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33719OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-33719DiVA: diva2:747639
Available from: 2014-09-17 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2014-10-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Att ta ställning: Gymnasieelevers argumentation och beslutsfattande om sociovetenskapliga dilemman
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att ta ställning: Gymnasieelevers argumentation och beslutsfattande om sociovetenskapliga dilemman
2014 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to explore students’ argumentation and decision-making relating to authentic socioscientific issues (SSI). The ability to make informed decisions about socio scientific issues has been recognized to be an important element in science education to achieve the goal of scientific literacy. However, deliberation on SSIs deals with the fact-value intertwinement and has proven to be a tricky affair, both for students and teachers. In paper I, the focus is on upper secondary students’ use of different reasons in arguing about the existence of wolfs in Sweden. To investigate the students’ ability to find supporting reasons from different subject areas in their informal argumentation, the SEE-SEP model was used as an analytical framework. The results showed that the value aspect dominates students’ informal argumentation on the SSI of wolves in Sweden. In paper II a six-step SSI instructional model is presented, designed to develop students’ ability to argue about complex multi-disciplinary issues. This six-step SSI instructional model aims to create a forum that encourages students to interact with one-another and discuss their arguments dynamically. In paper III students’ argumentation and decision-making upon an authentic SSI relating to environmental toxins in fish from the Baltic Sea, was studied. The students’ argumentation and decision making processes were followed closely and data were collected during multiple stages of the SSI-instructional model. The analysis focused on students’ skills of evaluation and the relationships between the values, knowledge and experiences that they used in their argumentation. The results showed that even though all of the students had access to the same information and agreed on the factual aspects of the issue, they came to different decisions, depending on their background values, knowledge and experiences (i.e. their intellectual baggage). Implications for teaching and research are discussed.

Abstract [sv]

 Förmågan att fatta välgrundade beslut i sociovetenskapliga dilemman (SSI) har lyfts fram som ett viktigt inslag i naturvetenskaplig undervisning för att förbereda eleverna på ett liv som medborgare i ett samhälle där kontroversiella frågor med naturvetenskaplig koppling förekommer i allt högre grad. Att hantera SSI-frågor i undervisningen och handskas med sammanflätningen av vetenskapliga fakta, värderingar och etiska perspektiv innebär dock stora utmaningar för både elever och lärare. Fokus i denna avhandling är inriktat mot att ytterligare synliggöra de ingående komponenterna och processerna som sker i arbetet med SSI-frågor, och därmed belysa viktiga aspekter som bör iakttas vid implementering av SSI-frågor i undervisningen. Genom studie I detekteras olika argument baserade på kunskaper, värderingar respektive erfarenheter kopplat till olika ämnesområden, och i studie II förs resonemang att det s.k. intellektuella baggaget, bestående av personliga värderingar, kunskaper och erfarenheter, styr viktning och värdering av olika argument och därmed vilket beslut som slutligen tas. En given slutsats är att SSI-baserad undervisning i det naturvetenskapliga klassrummet alltid måste bygga på en tolerans för en sammanflätning av vetenskapliga fakta, värderingar och etiska perspektiv.

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2014. 60 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2014:50
Series
, Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051
Keyword
Science education, Socioscientific issues, SSI, Argumentation, Informal argumentation, Decision-making, Naturwissenschaftliche Unterricht, Naturvetenskaplig undervisning, Samhällsfrågor med naturvetenskapligt innehåll, SNI, Sociovetenskapliga dilemman, SSI, Argumentation, Beslutsfattande, Vargar, Dioxiner i fisk
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33649 (URN)978-91-7063-588-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-10-24, 12A138, Geijersalen, Karlstad Universitet, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-10-06 Created: 2014-09-12 Last updated: 2014-10-06Bibliographically approved

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