Student Outcomes of Teaching About Socio-scientific Issues in Secondary Science Classrooms: Applications of EzGCM

Science education literature has highlighted socio-scientific issues (SSI) as an effective pedagogy for teaching science in a social and political context. SSI links science education and real-world problems to engage students in real-world issues, making it ideal for teaching global climate change (GCC). Additionally, technological advances have created a unique opportunity for teaching climate by making previously inaccessible computer-based computational models and data visualizations accessible to the typical K-12 learning environment. Here, we present the findings from the 2020–2021 school year pre-/post-implementation of a 3-week, model-based climate education curriculum module (EzGCM). Results from the three teachers and their students (n = 240) within a single high school located in a midwestern state suggest that the technology-enhanced curriculum positively impacted students’ knowledge gains, regardless of the teacher who taught the course. We highlight the importance of using interactive tools, such as GCMs, in the classroom to facilitate both conceptual and epistemic learning. The engagement of students with the model and their teachers played a crucial role in enabling students to assess their own misconceptions, shift their belief systems, and develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Carroll Steward, K., Gosselin, D., Chandler, M., & Forbes, C. (2023). Student outcomes of teaching about socio-scientific issues in secondary science classrooms: Applications of EzGCM. Journal of Science Education and Technology.