Metalogue: Using Issues and Participatory Experiences to Enhance Student Learning and Interest

  • Siu Ling WongEmail author
  • Tali Tal
  • Troy D. Sadler
Part of the Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education book series (CTISE, volume 39)


Sadler: To begin this chapter, the authors discuss the socio-scientific issues (SSI) movement in terms of related approaches to the contextualization of science education in issues that matter to students, teachers, and the broader population. They highlight relationships between SSI and the Science-Technology-Society (STS) movement and discuss different ways in which the movements overlap and share consistency: “The essence of all these ideas [SSI, STS, and other approaches that promote progressive visions of scientific literacy] is that the science content should be situated in real, important and often—controversial issues that gain the public’s interest” (p. 1). Later in the introduction, the authors extend the links between STS and SSI to include Education for Sustainability and Environmental Education. Historically, many of the issues addressed in Environmental Education (EE) are also issues featured within STS and SSI approaches. For instance, issues related to water pollution and quality fit easily into curricula labeled as EE or SSI. However, I see the purpose of a SSI-oriented curriculum and an EE-oriented curriculum as being significantly different. An SSI approach supports the development of individual learners and emergent communities of learners in terms of decision-making, participation in democratic processes, and reasoning. The focus is on student development and not on the promotion of a particular point of view or orientation. An EE approach may support similar processes but does so toward a desired result, that is, proenvironment attitudes and behaviors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Education in Technology and ScienceTechnion–Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.School of Teaching and LearningUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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