Using socio-scientific issues-based teaching to develop grade 10 students’ informal reasoning skills
Keywords:informal reasoning, socio-scientific issues, SSI
This study aimed to develop grade 10 students’ informal reasoning skills by incorporating socio-scientific issues (SSIs) into the classroom. The study was conducted among 46 students who were enrolled in a biology class and the intervention included 4 SSIs-related controversies related to immune function given over a 4-week time period. The students’ informal reasoning skills were assessed using the Informal Reasoning Test (IRT), which consisted of 5 openended questions that measured all aspects of informal reasoning. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Findings revealed that prior to the intervention, 33 percent of students demonstrated emotive-driven informal reasoning, while 26 percent demonstrated rational informal reasoning. After the SSIs-based intervention, students who used rational informal reasoning increased to 54 percent, while emotive informal reasoning declined to 19 percent.