Contextualization of Nature of Science within the Socioscientific Issues Framework: A Review of Research

Dilek Karisan, Dana L. Zeidler
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The aim of this paper is to examine the importance of contextualization of Nature of Science (NOS) within the Socioscientific Issues (SSI) framework, because of the importance to science education. The emphasis on advancing scientific literacy is contingent upon a robust understanding and appreciation of NOS, as well as the acquisition of socioscientific reasoning, skills, and values. Students’ negotiations within SSI are influenced by a variety of factors related to NOS such as scientific knowledge, data interpretations and social interactions including an individuals’ own articulation of personal beliefs.  Since NOS and SSI have become fundamental constructs in science education, especially for achieving scientific literacy, it is conceptually important to highlight the rationale(s) behind the contextualization of NOS within the SSI framework. This paper reviews research that entails the integration of SSI with NOS, exploring the nuanced relationships between these two areas. We do this in three sections presenting key aspects of: (a) SSI in science education; (b) NOS in science education; and (c) contextualization of NOS in SSI.

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