About this Research Topic
Recent educational reports around the world have called for a science education that places emphasis on scientific literacy, and makes the connection between science and everyday life with a focus on the social aspects of science, with the aim of preparing young people for life beyond school. Having scientific literacy as a goal in science education curricula, many countries put emphasis in educating citizens, not only regarding knowledge construction but also in acquiring particular skills that will help them become responsible citizens. In order to think scientifically and apply this in everyday decision making students need to gain skills such as argumentation, critical thinking, problem-solving, interrogating media, assessing the validity of information sources, thinking ethically, collaborating, etc.
The current situation we are all living in, the big global crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, has made clear that citizenship skills are more important than ever, i.e. to help us develop accurate understanding, have a clear insight about the situation, evaluate proposed solutions and make informed decisions accordingly. There is a considerable amount of scientific information from a variety of sources which requires distinguishing between reliable and unreliable sources, and trustable and untrustable information. Following the scientific developments regarding the issue, also requires constructing and reconstructing knowledge, considering ethical aspects, and finally making informed decisions. Gaining these skills will provide a critical lens to the individuals for becoming responsible citizens while considering the role of individuals and the society as a whole, such as global warming, nanotechnology, nuclear power plants, biotechnology, COVID-19 etc. Despite a number of studies in SSI and related skills during the last decade, the public discussions taking place in the social media around COVID-19 and possible solutions support that we have failed as science educators to prepare people to gain the relevant skills. The aim of this Research Topic is therefore to provide an international platform for a wide range of science educators and researchers to discuss and present the most recent studies regarding Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI) and the development of related skills in science education.
In this issue, we wish to include empirical studies that extend our methodological, theoretical and practical understanding of Socio-Scientific Issues, and have the likelihood of informing education policy and practice. We encourage researchers to submit empirical work from various contexts, education levels (e.g. primary, secondary, higher education, teacher professional development), perspectives, and methodological approaches.
Keywords: socio-scientific issues (SSI), citizenship skills, scientific literacy, science education
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