Students' reasoning and decision making about a socioscientific issue: A cross-context comparison

Authors

  • Yeung Chung Lee,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Science and Environmental Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Taipo, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
    • Department of Science and Environmental Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Taipo, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
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  • Marcus Grace

    1. Southampton Education School, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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Abstract

It has been argued that decision making about socioscientific issue (SSIs) necessitates informal reasoning, which involves multiperspective thinking and moral judgment. This study extends the scope of the literature concerning students' reasoning on SSIs to a cross-contextual study by comparing decisions made on avian flu by 12–13-year-old Chinese students in two different contextual settings using a prescribed decision-making framework. The findings reveal differences between students in the two settings with respect to their reasoning perspectives, evidence perceived to be useful to gather, decision-making criteria, and postactivity decisions. When coupled with cross-contextual exchange, the prescribed decision-making framework was found to have an impact on both multiperspective reasoning and metacognitive reflection on the multifaceted nature of decision making. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed 96:787–807, 2012

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