Moral–Ethical Character and Science Education: EcoJustice Ethics Through Socioscientific Issues (SSI)

  • Michael P. Mueller
  • Dana L. Zeidler
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 3)


Socioscientific issues (SSI) provide situations where science teachers and students analyze complex issues associated with ethical, political, and social dilemmas, such as whether animals should be kept in zoos or whether plants should be genetically modified. While engaging in socioscientific issues, students become informed about scientific conditions and develop epistemological styles for dealing with scientific research and the consequences thereof. During a time of increasing awareness around cultural diversity, biodiversity, and ecological degradations, epistemic development is paramount for helping students evaluate how they frame their relationships with others including nonhuman species and physical environments. In this regard, social justice movements have been too limited and exclusive, with a higher priority for humankind. Social justice, as currently conceptualized in the science education literature, is seldom extended to nonhuman animals, plants, and the land. Social justice is often associated with disparities between the haves and have-nots, which is historically contrived with middle-class values, norms, and conventions. It is inherently limited to what is considered right for humans without considering how decisions convened around social justice will impact nonhumans.


Science Education Science Teacher Transgenic Fish Transgenic Zebrafish Socioscientific Issue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael P. Mueller
    • 1
  • Dana L. Zeidler
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.University of South FloridaTempaUSA

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