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Digital technology to support students’ socioscientific reasoning about environmental issues

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2013, 00:00 authored by O Morin, L Simonneaux, J Simonneaux, Russell TytlerRussell Tytler
Scientific expertise and outcomes often give rise to controversy. An educational response that equips students to take part in such discussions is the teaching of socially acute questions (SAQs). With SAQs, the understanding of uncertainty, risk and how knowledge is developed is central. This study explores the way in which students from different disciplines and different continents are brought together via a digital platform to explore SAQs about environmental issues (a green algae outbreak linked to release of fertilisers along the coast of Brittany; the construction of a desalination plant near Melbourne to produce freshwater; and changes in meat consumption on a global scale, with regard to population projections in 2050). We have developed frameworks for looking at the quality of the collective reasoning and at the nature of students’ interactions, so that we can analyse the organisation of the learning communities and the building of collegial expertise. The results show that interdisciplinary discussions, especially on an international scale, foster the understanding of complex situations. In this paper, we discuss the modalities of one didactic scenario to enhance critical thinking and collaborative work, and to provide space for learners to support argumentation.

History

Journal

Journal of biological education

Volume

47

Issue

3

Season

ERIDOB special issue

Pagination

157 - 165

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

0021-9266

eISSN

2157-6009

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, Taylor & Francis