Case Studies of the Development of Science Teachers’ Practices of Socio-Scientific Issue (SSI)-Based Teaching through a Professional Development Program

  •  Sasithep Pitiporntapin    
  •  Suchada Srisakun    


This research aimed to assess three case studies of in-service science teachers regarding their practices of socio-scientific issue (SSI)-based teaching as they participated in a specially developed professional development (PD) program. Data were collected throughout the PD program from group discussions, observations, interviews, and the review of documents, and they were analyzed using within-case and cross-case analysis methods. The findings showed that the PD program had positive impacts on the teachers’ practices of SSI-based teaching. There were some modifications that combined their old teaching styles and SSI-based teaching; however, they attempted to link the science content within a social context in a way that motivated student ownership of learning. They modified their roles as information providers to be learning facilitators. Their students were also encouraged to employ scientific evidence-based reasoning to address the issues under discussion. The three science teachers also added questions to enhance student thinking about the application of scientific knowledge in society. At the individual level, teaching confidence and teaching enthusiasm had powerful influences on their practices of SSI-based teaching. At the school level, the amount of teaching time and the lack of experts on SSI-based teaching in the school were found to be barriers to SSI-based teaching. The results of this study contribute to the growing body of knowledge about preparing science teachers to link their science lessons to the real world, and they also provide a framework for future studies.

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