Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Ecological Stimuli Predicting High School Students’ Genuine Interest in Socio-Scientific Issues

  • Article
  • Published:
Science & Education Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Existing literature attests to the importance of assessing the learning enjoyment and learning interest of students toward socio-scientific issues (SSI). However, there are few existing studies that examine how ecological stimuli, which are crucial to young learners’ perceptual development and the shaping of ethical judgment, predict their learning enjoyment and learning interest in SSI. This investigation addresses this gap in the available literature by investigating and assessing the effects of self-perceived influences of three ecological stimuli constructs—textbooks, family/classmates, and news media—on a learning interest in SSI construct and a learning enjoyment from SSI construct among Taiwanese high school students. A structural equation model consisting of these five constructs was fitted to data collected from 966 students. Results show that influence on students’ ethical judgments from textbooks and news media directly predict learning interest in SSI, with effects partially mediated by learning enjoyment from SSI. The influence of family/classmates on students’ learning interest was fully mediated by learning enjoyment. The role of enjoyment and learning interest as predictors of these outcomes is discussed within the context of genuine interest in learning SSI content. The value and implications of these results for science education specialists and interest researchers are forwarded and suggested directions of future investigation submitted.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others

Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available upon request.

References

  • Ainley, M., & Hidi, S. (2014). Interest and enjoyment. In International handbook of emotions in education (pp. 215–237). Routledge.

  • Camacho-Morles, J., Slemp, G. R., Pekrun, R., Loderer, K., Hou, H., & Oades, L. G. (2021). Activity achievement emotions and academic performance: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 33(3), 1051–1095. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-020-09585-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chiu, M.-H. (Ed.). (2016). Science education research and practices in Taiwan: Challenges and opportunities. Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cho, H., & Chiu, W. (2021). The role of leisure centrality in university students’ self-satisfaction and academic intrinsic motivation. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 30(2), 119–130. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-020-00519-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chowdhury, T. B. M., Holbrook, J., & Rannikmäe, M. (2020). Addressing sustainable development: Promoting active informed citizenry through trans-contextual science education. Sustainability, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083259

  • Damico, J. S., & Panos, A. (2018). Civic media literacy as 21st century source work: Future social studies teachers examine web sources about climate change. The Journal of Social Studies Research, 42(4), 345–359. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jssr.2017.10.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DelFattore, J. (2013). Controversial narratives in the schools: Content, values, and conflicting viewpoints. In M. C. Green, J. J. Strange, & T. C. Brock (Eds.), Narrative impact: Social and cognitive foundations (pp. 131–156). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dewey, J. (1903). Interest as related to will. The University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Eysenck, M. W. (2004). Cognitive development: General theories. Psychology: An international perspective (pp. 520–547). Psychology Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fang, S. C., Hsu, Y. S., & Lin, S. S. (2019). Conceptualizing socioscientific decision making from a review of research in science education. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 17(3), 427–448. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-018-9890-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fang, C.-H., Lee, C.-M., Liou, S.-M., & Chen, Y.-H. (2015). An analysis of the history of Taiwanese character and moral education (1949–2014) and its implications for the 12-year basic education. [臺灣 1949–2014 年品德教育沿革剖析及其對十二年國民基本教育之啟示]. 教育實踐與研究 = Journal of Educational Practice and Research, 28(2), 33–58. https://doi.org/10.6776/JEPR

  • Ferrell, B., & Barbera, J. (2015). Analysis of students’ self-efficacy, interest, and effort beliefs in general chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 16, 318–337. https://doi.org/10.1039/c4rp00152d

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fitzgerald, A., & Corrigan, D. (2020). Science education for Australian students: Teaching science from foundation to year 12. Routledge.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Forsthuber, B., Motiejunaite, A., & de Almeida Coutinho, A. S. (2011). Science education in Europe: National policies, practices and research: ERIC.

  • Garrecht, C., Czinczel, B., Kretschmann, M., & Reiss, M. J. (2022). Should we be doing it, should we not be doing it, who could be harmed? Science & Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-022-00342-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gibbs, J. C. (2013). Moral development & reality: Beyond the theories of Kohlberg, Hoffman, and Haidt (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Gillath, O., Karantzas, C. G., & Lee, J. (2019). Attachment and social networks. Current Opinion in Psychology, 25, 21–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.02.010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goldfarb, T. D., & Pritchard, M. S. (2000). Ethics in the science classroom.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hadar, L. L. (2017). Opportunities to learn: Mathematics textbooks and students’ achievements. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 55, 153–166.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hahn, L., Tamborini, R., Prabhu, S., Grall, C., Novotny, E., & Klebig, B. (2022). Narrative media’s emphasis on distinct moral intuitions alters early adolescents’ judgments. Journal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications, 34(3), 165–176. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-1105/a000307

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108(4), 814–834. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.108.4.814

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hensen, C., & Barbera, J. (2019). Assessing affective differences between a virtual general chemistry experiment and a similar hands-on experiment. Journal of Chemical Education, 96(10), 2097–2108. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.9b00561

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Herman, B. C., Poor, S. V., Oertli, R. T., & Schulte, K. (2022). Promoting young learners’ NOS views through place-based SSI instruction. Science & Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-022-00353-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Herrington, D. G., Yezierski, E. J., & Bancroft, S. F. (2016). Tool trouble: Challenges with using self-report data to evaluate long-term chemistry teacher professional development. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53(7), 1055–1081. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21323

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hewitt, K. M., Bouwma-Gearhart, J., Kitada, H., Mason, R., & Kayes, L. J. (2019). Introductory biology in social context: The effects of an issues-based laboratory course on biology student motivation. CBE Life Science Education, 18(3), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.18-07-0110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hidi, S., & Renninger, K. A. (2006). The four-phase model of interest development. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 111–127. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep4102_4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ho, H.-Z., Lam, Y. W., & Yeh, K.-H. (2013). Character education in Taiwan: A reflection of historical shifts in sociocultural contexts. Childhood Education, 89(6), 362–367. https://doi.org/10.1080/00094056.2013.851590

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hodson, D. (2011). Turning the spotlight on science education. In Looking to the future: Building a curriculum for social activism (pp. 137–164). Sense Publishers.

  • Holland, C. T. (2020). The implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and the tumultuous fight to implement climate change awareness in science curricula. Brock Education Journal, 29(1), 35–35. https://doi.org/10.26522/brocked.v29I1.646

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Howerth, I. W. (1912). Interest. In The art of education (56–85). Norwood Press

  • Hu, L.-T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structure Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 1–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Issitt, J. (2004). Reflections on the study of textbooks. History of Education, 33(6), 683–696. https://doi.org/10.1080/0046760042000277834

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jack, B. M. (2017, Nov. 30 to Dec. 2). Textbooks in Kaohsiung high schools: Are students connecting ethics to SSI within a ‘third space’? Paper presented at the HKERA International Conference, Hong Kong.

  • Jack, B. M. (2018, Mar. 22–24). Measuring relationships among interest and enjoyment in learning ethics and the factors influencing ethical judgments. Paper presented at the ACP2018 The Asian Conference on Psychology; the Behavioral Sciences/ The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion, & Philosophy, Kobe, Japan.

  • Jack, B. M., & Lin, H.-S. (2014). Igniting and sustaining interest among students who have grown cold toward science. Science Education, 98(5), 792–814. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21119

  • Jack, B. M., Lee, L., Yang, K.-K., & Lin, H.-S. (2017). A science for citizenship model: Assessing the effects of benefits, risks, and trust for predicting students’ interest in and understanding of science-related content. Research in Science Education, 47(5), 965–988. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-016-9535-9

  • Jack, B. M., & Lin, H.-S. (2018). Warning! Increases in interest without enjoyment may not be trend predictive of genuine interest in learning science. International Journal of Educational Development, 62, 136–147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2018.03.005

  • Jack, B. M., Chen, C.-C., & Smith, T. J. (2020). Validating Dewey’s notion of genuine interest. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 39(3):301–314. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282920967133

  • Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107(2), 238–246. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.107.2.238

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bomar, P. J. (2003). Promoting health in families: Applying family research and theory to nursing: Saunders.

  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bush, A. N., Walker, A. M., & Perry, B. L. (2017). “The framily plan”: Characteristics of ties described as both “friend” and “family” in personal networks. Network Science, 5(1), 92–107. https://doi.org/10.1017/nws.2017.2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Caravita, S., Valente, A., Luzi, D., Pace, P., Valanides, N., Khalil, I., & Clement, P. (2008). Construction and validation of textbook analysis grids for ecology and environmental education. Science Education International, 19(2), 97–116.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Der Leij, T., Avraamidou, L., Wals, A., & Goedhart, M. (2021). Supporting secondary students’ morality development in science education. Studies in Science Education, 1-41https://doi.org/10.1080/03057267.2021.1944716

  • Vincent, B. B., & Loeve, S. (2018). Toward a philosophy of technosciences. In S. Loeve, X. Guchet & B. B. Vincent (Eds.), French philosophy of technology: classical readings and contemporary approaches (pp. 169–186). Cham, Switzerland. Springer

  • Leung, J. S. C. (2022). Shifting the teaching beliefs of preservice science teachers about socioscientific issues in a teacher education course. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 20(4), 659–682. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-021-10177-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lippmann, W. (1922). Public opinion. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace and Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Little, T. D., Lindenberger, U., & Nesselroade, J. R. (1999). On selecting indicators for multivariate measurement and modeling with latent variables: When “good” indicators are bad and “bad” indicators are good. Psychological Methods, 4(2), 192. https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.4.2.192

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • López-Fernández, M. D. M., González-García, F., & Franco-Mariscal, A. J. (2021). Should we ban single-use plastics? A role-playing game to argue and make decisions in a grade-8 school chemistry class. Journal of Chemical Education, 98(12), 3947–3956. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00580

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Marope, M., Griffin, P., & Gallagher, C. (2017). Future competences and the future of curriculum: A global reference for curricula transformation: UNSCO.

  • Mesch, G. S., & Talmud, I. (2006). Online friendship formation, communication channels, and social closeness. International Journal of Internet Science, 1(1), 29–44.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morris, H. (2014). Socioscientific issues and multidisciplinarity in school science textbooks. International Journal of Science Education, 36(7), 1137–1158. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2013.848493

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/4962

  • Oates, T. (2014). Why textbooks count: A policy paper. University of Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  • OECD. (2016). Proposal for the PISA 2018 global competence assessment (2016): Global competency for an inclusive world. Author.

    Google Scholar 

  • OECD. (2019). OECD future of education and skills: Education 2030: OECD learning compass 2030. Author.

    Google Scholar 

  • OECD. (2018). PISA 2018 Global Competence Framework (Vol. 2018): Author.

  • Ortiz-Revilla, J., Adúriz-Bravo, A., & Greca, I. M. (2020). A framework for epistemological discussion on integrated STEM education. Science & Education, 29(4), 857–880. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-020-00131-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Park, W., Wu, J.-Y., & Erduran, S. (2020). The nature of STEM disciplines in the science education standards documents from the USA Korea and Taiwan. Science & Education, 29(4), 899–927. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-020-00139-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pekrun, R. (2006). The control-value theory of achievement emotions: Assumptions, corollaries, and implications for educational research and practice. Educational Psychology Review, 18(4), 315–341. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-006-9029-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pekrun, R., & Perry, R. P. (2014). Control-value theory of achievement emotions. In International handbook of emotions in education (pp. 130–151). Routledge.

  • Perry, B. L., Pescosolido, B. A., & Borgatti, S. P. (2018). Ego network composition and structure (with Ann McCranie). In Egocentric network analysis: Foundations, methods, and models (pp. 159–194): University Printing House.

  • Pleasants, J., Clough, M. P., Olson, J. K., & Miller, G. (2019). Fundamental issues regarding the nature of technology. Science & Education, 28(3), 561–597. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-019-00056-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pngel, F. (2009). UNESCO guidebook on textbook research and textbook revision. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

  • Pugh, K. J. (2011). Transformative experience: An integrative construct in the spirit of Deweyan pragmatism. Educational Psychologist, 46(2), 107–121.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rahayu, S. (2019). Socio-scientific issues (SSI) in chemistry education: Enhancing both students’ chemical literacy & transferable skills. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1227(1), 012008. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1227/1/012008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rhemtulla, M., Brosseau-Liard, P. É., & Savalei, V. (2012). When can categorical variables be treated as continuous? A comparison of robust continuous and categorical SEM estimation methods under suboptimal conditions. Psychological Methods, 17(3), 354. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029315

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rosa, E. M., & Tudge, J. (2013). Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory of human development: Its evolution from ecology to bioecology. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 5(4), 243–258. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12022

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rose, K. M., Howell, E. L., Su, L.Y.-F., Xenos, M. A., Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A. (2019). Distinguishing scientific knowledge: The impact of different measures of knowledge on genetically modified food attitudes. Public Understanding of Science, 28(4), 449–467. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662518824837

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rosebrough, T. R., & Leverett, R. G. (2011). Transformational teaching in the information age: Making why and how we teach relevant to students. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ruggles, S. (2010). Stem families and joint families in comparative historical perspective. Population and Development Review, 36(3), 563–577. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2010.00346.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68–78. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schiefele, U. (1992). Topic interest and levels of text comprehension. In K. A. Renninger, S. Hidi, & A. Kapp (Eds.), The role of interest in learning and development (pp. 151–182). Psychology Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schraw, G., & Lehman, S. (2001). Situational interest: A review of the literature and directions for future research. Educational Psychology Review, 13(1), 23–52. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009004801455

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sharma, A., & Alvey, E. M. (2021). The undercurrents of neoliberal ethics in science curricula: A critical appraisal. Ethics and Education, 16(1), 122–136. https://doi.org/10.1080/17449642.2020.1860316

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Steiger, J. H., & Lind, J. M. (1980). Statistically based tests for the number of common factors. Paper Presented at the the Annual Meeting of the Psychometric Society, Iowa City, IA. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tannock, S. (2021). Curriculum struggles: Knowledge, truth … action?. In Educating for radical social transformation in the climate crisis. Palgrave studies in education and the environment. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-83000-7_2

  • Teppo, M., Soobard, R., & Rannikmäe, M. (2021). Grade 6 & 9 student and teacher perceptions of teaching and learning approaches in relation to student perceived interest enjoyment towards science learning. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 20(1), 119–133. https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/21.20.119

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tomas, L., & Ritchie, S. M. (2012). Positive emotional responses to hybridised writing about a socio-scientific issue. Research in Science Education, 42(1), 25–49. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-011-9255-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tomas, L., Ritchie, S. M., & Tones, M. (2011). Attitudinal impact of hybridized writing about a socioscientific issue. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(8), 878–900. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.20431

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tsai, C.-Y., & Jack, B. M. (2019). Antecedent factors influencing ethics-related social and socio-scientific learning enjoyment. International Journal of Science Education, 41(9), 1139–1158.

  • UNESCO (2016). Every child should have a textbook. (Global Education Monitoring Report: Policy Paper 23). Author.

  • Wan, Y., & Bi, H. (2019). What major “socio-scientific topics” should the science curriculum focused on? A Delphi study of the expert community in China. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education., 18(1), 61–77. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-018-09947-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yang, C. (2021). Moral education in mainland China today: A bio-ecological systems analysis. Journal of Moral Education, 50(4), 529–543. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2020.1847054

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zeidler, D. L., & Nichols, B. H. (2009). Socioscientific issues: Theory and practice. Journal of Elementary Science Education, 21(2), 49. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03173684

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zeyer, A., & Dillon, J. (2019). The role of empathy for learning in complex Science|Environment|Health contexts. International Journal of Science Education, 41(3), 297–315. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2018.1549371

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to Mr. Marvin G. Connatser for his incisive and expert editing of this manuscript and to the three anonymous reviewers who offered their comments regarding the content and structure of this manuscript.

Funding

Taiwan National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) supported this study: Grant Number MOST 108–2511-H-110–005-MY2.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Brady Michael Jack.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Jack, B.M., Hong, ZR., Lin, Hs. et al. Ecological Stimuli Predicting High School Students’ Genuine Interest in Socio-Scientific Issues. Sci & Educ (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-022-00413-4

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-022-00413-4

Keywords

Navigation