The Use of Drama in Socio-Scientific Inquiry-Based Learning

  • Roald P. VerhoeffEmail author
Part of the Contributions from Science Education Research book series (CFSE, volume 3)


Drama is relatively unexplored in academic science education. This chapter addresses in what way drama may allow science students to explore socio-scientific issues on neuro-technologies. We connect to the educational framework, socio-scientific inquiry-based learning (SSIBL), which integrates inquiry-based science education, socio-scientific issues and citizenship education. We explore the use of drama to enhance reflexivity in embracing and critiquing socio-scientific issues on emerging technologies. So far, only few empirical studies have been published concerning the effectiveness of drama in science education. In most papers describing the use of drama, students are typically involved as spectators. In our case, 22 students from various science disciplines were involved in a drama experiment, performing multiple roles as authors, actors, reviewers and audience. Qualitative data was collected on the educational process and student performance during the course and the performed one-act play. The drama experiment showed to be an effective SSIBL approach in activating students to open up a future lifeworld which they could relate to. It allowed them to acquire insights in social and ethical implications of neuro-technologies and created awareness of different viewpoints, primarily in everyday life settings. The results presented in this chapter underline the potential of the SSIBL approach in stimulating students to take a reflexive position on the socio-scientific particularities of science and technology. However, they also illustrate some difficulties in combining drama and science education. Using drama faces the challenge of learners perceiving the design and performance of a play to be less effective as opposed to more traditional ways of learning.


Drama in education Socio-scientific inquiry-based learning Neuro-technology Qualitative research 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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