Science teachers' inspiration for teaching socio-scientific issues: Disconnection with reform efforts

Hyunju Lee, Klaus G. Witz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The need for the inclusion of socio-scientific issues (SSI) into science curricula has been generally accepted, but relatively few science teachers have incorporated SSI into their courses. Most science teachers feel that their most important task by far is to teach the principles of science, and any substantive pedagogical changes represent a burden. Reformers and researchers often point out science teachers' lukewarm reactions to the reforms as a major barrier for educational changes but pay little attention to teachers' deeper values and inspirations. However, there are some teachers who address SSI out of their own personal initiative. Detailed case studies of four such teachers showed that although the teachers were aware of Science, Technology, Society or other reform efforts, they developed their own thrust and materials for SSI based on their own values, ideals, philosophies and personal concerns. This suggests that the current curriculum reforms (Science, Technology, Society, SSI, and Nature of Science) tend to suggest theoretical ideals, but do not effectively connect with teachers' deeper values and ideals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-960
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2009


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