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Preservice Elementary Teachers' Socioscientific Reasoning During a Decision-Making Activity in the Context of COVID-19

Cited 4 time in Web of Science Cited 4 time in Scopus

Ha, Heesoo; Park, Wonyong; Song, Jinwoong

Issue Date
Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers
Science and Education, Vol.32 No.6, pp.1869-1886
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the role of informed decision-making in times of crisis and the need for equipping teachers with the ability to address socioscientific issues in the classroom. In this study, we examine the features of socioscientific reasoning found in preservice elementary teachers' group discussions on the issue of school reopening during the pandemic. Using socioscientific reasoning and perspective taking as theoretical lenses, we analyzed how the participants constructed and justified arguments about the issue from the perspectives of three stakeholders the Minister of Education, a teacher, and a parent. The analysis revealed the participants' tendency to reach a premature decision and then cherry-pick evidence supporting the predetermined conclusion. As they examined relevant evidence, they often specified their initial claims by adding conditions to make it less objectionable and more defensible. We also illustrate how they used two different types of evidence, mechanistic and epidemiological, to support their claims about school reopening, and how perspective taking influenced their reasoning processes. Based on these findings, we discuss the potential of the perspective-based approach for supporting elementary teachers' decision-making about socioscientific issues.
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