Selecting Socio-scientific Issues for Teaching: A Grounded Theory Study of How Science Teachers Collaboratively Design SSI-Based Curricula
Currently there is little guidance given to teachers in selecting focal issues for socio-scientific issues (SSI)-based teaching and learning. As a majority of teachers regularly collaborate with other teachers, understanding what factors influence collaborative SSI-based curriculum design is critical. We invited 18 secondary science teachers to participate in a professional development on SSI-based instruction and curriculum design. Through intentional design, we studied how these teachers formed curriculum design teams and how they selected focal issues for SSI-based curriculum units. We developed substantiative grounded theory to explain these processes. Key findings include how teachers' tensions and agential moves worked in tandem in the development of a safe and shared place to share discontentment and generate opportunities to form design teams and select issues. Teacher passion and existing resources are factors as influential as considerations for issue relevance. Implications for teacher professional development and research are included.
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