Sample issue for the teaching of socio-scientific issues: The endangered Northern bald ibis
AbstractThe prominence of socioscientific issues (SSI), that combine society with science, in education has grown in recent years. The northern bald ibis is important for science and society since it is an endangered species, it only inhabits one region in Turkey and has a limited population worldwide. This study aims to ascertain the impact of the implemented SSI program on participating high school students from the area where the endangered northern bald ibis can be found, insofar as their conceptual knowledge and their opinions about the SSI. The study used a one group pretest-posttest design. The participants for the study were 75 students from a state high-school in the Birecik district of Şanlıurfa province. The study used and SSI program centred around interaction. The conceptual knowledge form and the scenario called “Northern Bald Ibis Under Threat” were used as data collection tools before and after the SSI program. Quantitative data analysis was conducted using paired samples t test and content analysis was employed to analyse qualitative data. The quantitative findings of the study show that implementation of the SSI program enhanced the level of conceptual knowledge of the participating high students who live in the area inhabited by the northern bald ibis. The qualitative data obtained in the study show that the high school students’ opinions changed following the SSI program. Before the SSI program the students stated that they though hunting was the reason the northern bald ibis was going extinct whereas after the SSI program the students stated opinions related to agricultural pesticides as a reason for extinction. When it comes to suggestions to protect the northern bald ibis, this study observed that student opinions shifted from suggestions related to taking better care of the species before the program, to protecting the environment after the program. It was also observed that at the end of the SSI program students had a broader perspective on the issue and evaluated the issue using more scientific terminology.
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