Elementary School Students’ Informal Reasoning and Its’ Quality Regarding Socio-Scientific Issues

Muhammet OZDEN
Kutahya Dumlupınar University, TURKEY
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2020.86.4


Purpose: Since developing science literacy is a primary objective of science education and socio-scientific (SSI) decision-making is an important aspect of science literacy, it is valuable to explore how students structure their decisions related to SSIs, and how they discuss and solve SSIs. The aim of present study was to examine elementary school students’ informal reasoning patterns related to SSIs, and the quality of these patterns.

Research Methods: In the study, I employed basic qualitative design. To recruit the participants, I used typical case sampling to determine the schools and then I employed critical case sampling to select these participants. I gathered the data through semi-structured interviews and employed thematic analysis in the data analysis process.

Findings: The findings revealed that the participants used logical, emotional and intuitive informal reasoning patterns to solve socioscientific issues. However, a notable result of the study is that the least used reasoning pattern was logical reasoning while the most frequently used pattern was intuitive reasoning. Furthermore, it was found that the participants were engaged mostly in low-quality reasoning.

Implications for Research and Practice: The results of the study revealed that individuals use not only logic, but also emotions and intuition while looking for an answer for SSIs. Therefore, ıt is important for science educators to consider value-laden science teaching.

Keywords: Socio-scientific issues, socio-scientific issues scenario, argumentation, informal reasoning, informal reasoning patterns, reasoning quality