Research in Science Education

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 51–71 | Cite as

Science Teachers Taking their First Steps toward Teaching Socioscientific Issues through Collaborative Action Research

  • Hyunju LeeEmail author
  • Jung-eun Yang


This study presents two science teachers, Catherine and Jennifer, who took their first steps toward teaching socioscientific issues through collaborative action research. The teachers participated in the collaborative action research project because they wanted to address socioscientific issues but had limited experience in teaching them. The research questions included what kinds of challenges the teachers encountered when implementing socioscientific issues and to what extent they resolved the challenging issues as participating in collaborative action research. The primary data source consisted of audiotapes of regular group meetings containing information on the process of constructing and implementing lesson plans and reflecting on their teaching of socioscientific issues. We also collected classroom videotapes of the teachers’ instruction and audiotapes of students’ small group discussions and their worksheets. The findings indicated that when addressing socioscientific issues in the classes, the teachers encountered several challenging issues. We categorized them into four: (1) restructuring classroom dynamics and culture, (2) scaffolding students’ engagement in socioscientific issues, (3) dealing with values, and (4) finding their niche in schools. However, this study showed that collaborative action research could be a framework for helping the teachers to overcome such challenges and have successful experiences of teaching socioscientific issues. These experiences became good motivation, to gradually develop their understanding of teaching socioscientific issues and instructional strategies for integrating the knowledge and skills that they had accumulated over the years.


Socioscientific issues Collaborative action research Teacher professional development Teacher knowledge 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science EducationEwha Womans UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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