Metalogue: Issues in the Conceptualization of Research Constructs and Design for SSI Related Work

  • Troy D. SadlerEmail author
  • Vaille M. Dawson
  • Michelle L. Klosterman
  • Jennifer L. Eastwood
  • Dana L. Zeidler
Part of the Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education book series (CTISE, volume 39)


Sadler: As I reflect on the project featured in this chapter while simultaneously considering the future of my own work in the area of SSI and the SSI research agenda more generally, I am drawn to the socio-scientific reasoning (SSR) aspect of the project. In some ways, this part of the project was not very successful. First, the students demonstrated no gains in SSR. And second, the subcomponents of the larger SSR construct (i.e., complexity, inquiry, and perspectives) did not show evidence of association to an underlying latent variable. In other words, these data suggest that the SSR aspects ought to be treated as independent variables as opposed to related subconstructs. However, despite these results, I think the work around SSR may be the most important contribution of the project. As we mention in the chapter and elsewhere (Sadler, Barab, & Scott, 2007; Sadler & Zeidler, 2009), I think that there is a real need for tools to help us as researchers and educators better operationalize what it is that we are trying to do with SSI. I do not think it is enough for us to continue to argue that we need to enhance scientific literacy. I do not think that anyone contributing to this book would disagree that promoting scientific literacy is important, but given the political climate in which schools are currently situated, I think that our community (i.e. those of us who advocate the contextualization of science education through SSI) has a responsibility to move beyond the rhetoric of scientific literacy as a rationale for SSI-based education.


Science Education Science Education Research Socioscientific Issue Authentic Assessment Science Education Community 
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  3. Sadler, T. D., Barab, S. A., & Scott, B. (2007). What do students gain by engaging in socio­scientific inquiry? Research in Science Education, 37, 371–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Sadler, T. D., & Zeidler, D. L. (2009). Scientific literacy, PISA, and socioscientific discourse: Assessment for progressive aims of science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46, 909–921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Troy D. Sadler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vaille M. Dawson
    • 2
  • Michelle L. Klosterman
    • 3
  • Jennifer L. Eastwood
    • 1
  • Dana L. Zeidler
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Teaching and LearningUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Science and Mathematics Education CentreCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Department of EducationWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  4. 4.College of EducationUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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