Pedagogical and Epistemological Challenges of Pre-Service Science Teachers Teaching Socioscientific Issues

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To effectively address socioscientific issues (SSI), science teachers need to obtain a certain level of pedagogical content knowledge for SSI teaching (SSI-PCK). In this study, therefore, pre-service science teachers (PSTs) were provided an SSI teacher education program (SSI-TEP) based on the SSI-PCK framework and their development and challenges were carefully examined. Fifteen PSTs participated in the SSI-TEP over 15 weeks and had opportunities to design and implement an SSI lesson in a group. Data were collected through SSI lesson plans, fieldnotes, and group interviews. The results showed that the PSTs highly valued their SSI-TEP experience but noted several pedagogical and epistemological challenges. They were concerned about how to meet both the national science curriculum and students' needs and how to reveal the nature of science and technology through the selected SSI scenarios. Additionally, they felt the need to obtain skills to facilitate and scaffold students' participation. The challenges were often intertwined with SSI-PCK components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-330
Number of pages30
JournalAsia-Pacific Science Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 by Lee.


  • SSI teaching
  • pre-service science teachers
  • socioscientific issues


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