Skip to main content

Turkish Preservice Science Teachers’ Informal Reasoning Regarding Socioscientific Issues and the Factors Influencing Their Informal Reasoning

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to explore Turkish preservice science teachers’ informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues and the factors influencing their informal reasoning. The researchers engaged 39 preservice science teachers in informal reasoning interview and moral decision-making interview protocols. Of the seven socioscientific issues, three issues were related to gene therapy, another three were related to human cloning, and one was related to global warming. The data were analyzed using an interpretive qualitative research approach. The characteristic of informal reasoning was determined as multidimensional, and the patterns of informal reasoning emerged as rationalistic, emotive, and intuitive reasoning. The factors influencing informal reasoning were: personal experiences, social considerations, moral-ethical considerations, and technological concerns.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  • Albe, V. (2008). When scientific knowledge, daily life experience, epistemological and social considerations intersect: Students’ argumentation in group discussions on a socio-scientific issue. Research in Science Education, 38, 67–90.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bell, R. L., & Lederman, N. G. (2003). Understandings of the nature of science and decision making on science and technology based issues. Science Education, 87, 352–377.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bingle, W. H., & Gaskell, P. J. (1994). Scientific literacy for decision making and the social construction of scientific knowledge. Science Education, 78, 185–201.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Driver, R., Newton, P., & Osborne, J. (2000). Establishing the norms of scientific argumentation in classrooms. Science Education, 84(3), 287–312.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ekborg, M. (2008). Opinion building on a socio-scientific issue: The case of genetically modified plants. Journal of Biological Education, 42(2), 60–65.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Erdil, E. (2007). Poverty and Turkish labor markets. METU Studies in Development, 34, 137–172.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hogan, K. (2002). Small groups’ ecological reasoning while making an environmental management decision. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39, 341–368.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jimenez-Aleixandre, M. P., Rodriguez, A. B., & Duschl, R. A. (2000). “Doing the lesson” or “doing science”: Argument in high school genetics. Science Education, 84, 757–792.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kolstø, S. D. (2001a). Scientific literacy for citizenship: Tools for dealing with the science dimension of controversial SSI. Science Education, 85, 291–310.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kolstø, S. D. (2001b). To trust or not to trust—Pupils’ ways of judging information encountered in a socio-scientific issue. International Journal of Science Education, 23, 877–901.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lewis, J., & Leach, J. (2006). Discussion of socio-scientific issues: The role of science education. International Journal of Science Education, 28(11), 1267–1287.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Means, M. L., & Voss, J. F. (1996). Who reasons well? Two studies of informal reasoning among children of different grade, ability, and knowledge levels. Cognition and Instruction, 14, 139–178.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and scenario study applications in education. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Merriam, S. B., & Associates. (2002). Qualitative research in practice: Examples for discussion and analysis. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Patronis, T., Potari, D., & Spiliotopoulou, V. (1999). Students’ argumentation in decision-making on a socio-scientific issue: Implications for teaching. International Journal of Science Education, 21, 745–754.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pedretti, E. (1999). Decision making and STS education: Exploring scientific knowledge and social responsibilty in schools and science centers through an issues-based approach. Journal of School Science and Mathematics, 99(4), 174–181.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pool, R. (1991). Science literacy: The enemy is us. Science, 251, 266–267.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, T. D. (2004). Informal reasoning regarding SSI: A critical review of research. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41, 513–536.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, T. D. (2006). Promoting discourse and argumentation in science teacher education. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 17, 323–346.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, T. D. (2009). Situated learning in science education: Socio-scientific issues as contexts for practice. Studies in Science Education, 45(1), 1–42.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, T. D., Chambers, F. W., & Zeidler, D. L. (2004). Student conceptualizations of the nature of science in response to a socioscientific issue. International Journal of Science Education, 19, 387–409.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, T. D., & Donnelly, L. A. (2006). Socioscientific argumentation: The effects of content knowledge and morality. International Journal of Science Education, 28(12), 1463–1488.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, T. D., & Zeidler, D. L. (2004). The morality of SSI: Construal and resolution of genetic engineering dilemmas. Science Education, 88, 4–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, T. D., & Zeidler, D. L. (2005a). Patterns of informal reasoning in the context of socioscientific decision making. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42, 112–138.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, T. D., & Zeidler, D. L. (2005b). The significance of content knowledge for informal reasoning regarding SSI: Applying genetics knowledge to genetic engineering issues. Science Education, 89, 71–93.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Topçu, M. S., Sadler, T. D., & Yilmaz-Tuzun, O. (2010). Preservice science teachers’ informal reasoning about socioscientific issues: The influence of issue context. International Journal of Science Education, 32(18), 2475–2495.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tweney, R. D. (1991). Informal reasoning in science. In J. F. Voss, D. N. Perkins, & J. W. Segal (Eds.), Informal reasoning and education (pp. 3–16). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tytler, R., Duggan, S., & Gott, R. (2001). Dimensions of evidence, the public understanding of science and science education. International Journal of Science Education, 23, 815–832.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walker, K. A., & Zeidler, D. L. (2007). Promoting discourse about SSI through scaffolded Inquiry. International Journal of Science Education, 29(11), 1387–1410.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wu, Y.-T., & Tsai, C.-C. (2007). High school students’ informal reasoning on a socio-scientific issue: Qualitative and quantitative analyses. International Journal of Science Education, 29, 1163–1187.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yang, F. Y., & Anderson, O. R. (2003). Senior high school students’ preference and reasoning modes about nuclear energy use. International Journal of Science Education, 25, 221–244.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zeidler, D. L., & Keefer, M. (2003). The role of moral reasoning and the status of SSI in science education: Philosophical, psychological and pedagogical considerations. In D. L. Zeidler (Ed.), The role of moral reasoning and discourse on SSI in science education. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zeidler, D. L., & Schafer, L. E. (1984). Identifying mediating factors of moral reasoning in science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 21, 1–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zeidler, D. L., Walker, K. A., Ackett, W. A., & Simmons, M. L. (2002). Tangled up in views: Beliefs in the nature of science and responses to socioscientific dilemmas. Science Education, 86, 343–367.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zohar, A., & Nemet, F. (2002). Fostering students’ knowledge and argumentation skills through dilemmas in human genetics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39, 35–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mustafa Sami Topçu.

About this article

Cite this article

Topçu, M.S., Yılmaz-Tüzün, Ö. & Sadler, T.D. Turkish Preservice Science Teachers’ Informal Reasoning Regarding Socioscientific Issues and the Factors Influencing Their Informal Reasoning. J Sci Teacher Educ 22, 313–332 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-010-9221-0

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-010-9221-0

Keywords

  • Preservice science teachers
  • Informal reasoning
  • Socioscientific issues
  • Factors influencing informal reasoning