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Using Socioscientific Issues to Enhance Students’ Emotional Competence

Abstract

The premise of our study is that emotional competence (EC) serves as a foundational contributor to the achievement of science education goals in the context of socioscientific issues (SSIs). EC is a set of abilities necessary to accomplish adaptive goals in emotionally arousing situations. We contend that the development of EC is conducive to learning and character development in the SSI context. Therefore, we set out to develop and implement an EC intervention SSI program (called EC-SSI) and to verify the program’s effect on students’ EC, and “character and values.” We developed a nine-lesson program using two SSI scenarios: the Coltan mining problem and a designer baby dilemma. We collected data using questionnaires and student worksheets from 26 tenth graders and applied a mixed method approach to data gathering and analysis. We found that the program significantly improved students’ EC and “character and values.” From these results, we conclude that instructional strategies to improve students’ EC can be applied in SSI instruction and can positively affect student’s empathy and emotion regulation. We suggested that SSIs can provide an appropriate context for the improvement of students’ EC in science education and educators consider EC training integration at appropriate stages of science learning. We also recommend follow-up research to examine how students’ EC development impacts their SSI decision-making.

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Gao, L., Mun, K. & Kim, SW. Using Socioscientific Issues to Enhance Students’ Emotional Competence. Res Sci Educ 51, 935–956 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-019-09873-1

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Keywords

  • Emotional competence
  • Socioscientific issues
  • Science education
  • Emotion in science learning
  • Character and value education