Purpose: Science education literature has indicated that teachers do not always feel comfortable teaching socioscientific issues (SSI) that are infused with several social domains. In order to address this problem in teaching SSI, this study is designed to understand and describe the experiences of a science teacher and a social studies teacher, who collaboratively designed and taught an SSI-based environmental ethics class. Research Methods: The purpose of this descriptive case study was to portray how a science and a social studies teacher co-design and co-teach an environmental ethics class. The data collection instruments were interviews, observations, and reflective journals. Thematic analysis of the data was made via a qualitative data analysis software. Findings: The findings indicated that both participants criticized the science curriculum for not being able to address every dimension of SSI. Therefore, they structured their environmental ethics class based on the “triple bottom idea” in order to look at those issues from social, economic, and environmental points of view. One of the highlights of their environmental ethics class was the opportunity given to the students to work on projects they felt passionate about. The participants described their role in the environmental ethics class as a consultant, which was different from traditional settings. Therefore, they no longer provided the content, but rather consulted with their students to explore their vested interests. Implications for Research and Practice: Giving students power to choose their own project topics, the teachers aimed at enhancing the motivation of students in taking pro-environmental actions, as well as developing their own perspective about controversial SSI. Considering the community involvement of the students, this missing piece of students’ community involvement and agency in most educational settings was strongly present in the environmental ethics class.
|Translated title of the contribution||Case study of science and social studies teachers co-teaching socioscientific issues-based instruction|
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Egitim Arastirmalari - Eurasian Journal of Educational Research|
|State||Published - 2017|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
* This study was made possible by National Science Foundation grant CBET 1209402. The findings, conclusions, and opinions herein represent the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the view of personnel affiliated with the National Science Foundation. ** This article has been produced from Engin Karahan’s doctoral dissertation.
The participants of this study included a science teacher and a social studies teacher who co-taught a high school environmental ethics class. Participant teachers of this study were actively involved in a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project, which was an on-going professional development program striving to provide secondary science teachers with a context to teach local socioscientific issues related to a large river basin watershed. Their teaching assignments were mostly in biology, ecology, environmental ethics, world history, microeconomics, and humanities (see Table 1).
- Case study
- Community involvement
- Environmental ethics
- Service learning projects