Korean science teachers’ perceptions of the introduction of socio‐scientific issues into the science curriculum

Hyunju Lee, Fouad Abd‐El‐Khalick, Kyunghee Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined Korean secondary science teachers’ perceptions of the introduction of socio‐scientific issues (SSI) into the science curriculum. The guiding research questions were (a) What are teachers’ perceptions of SSI and the place of these issues in the science curriculum? and (b) What are some factors that impede or facilitate addressing SSI in Korean secondary classrooms? The factors that were explored included teachers’ perceptions of the necessity of addressing SSI, teachers’ personal science‐teaching efficacy (PSTE) beliefs regarding SSI, and other relevant situational factors. The 86 participants (65% female) completed a questionnaire comprising Likert‐type and open‐ended questions. Next, follow‐up, semi‐structured interviews were conducted with a random sample of 12 participants. Results indicated that participants perceived a need to address SSI positively. However, only a minority dealt with such issues in their classrooms and then only sporadically. Participants had low PSTE beliefs related to teaching about SSI. They perceived the lack of instructional time and the unavailability of relevant materials as the primary obstacles that hindered the teaching of SSI. It is argued that the culture of pre‐college science education in Korea, which is still largely dominated by a preoccupation with preparing students for admission to institutions of higher education, subsumes those obstacles identified and experienced by the participant teachers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-117
Number of pages21
JournalCanadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

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