Teaching Socio-scientific Issues Through Evidence-based Thinking Practices: Appropriateness, Benefits and Challenges of Using an Instructional Scaffold

Gaye Defne Ceyhan, Ebru Z. Mugaloglu, John W. Tillotson


Teachers are expected to improve their students’ analytical thinking and decision-making skills through evidence-based thinking and critical evaluation processes. In this study, a three-hour workshop was conducted to investigate science teachers’ views about teaching socio-scientific issues through argumentation and introducing an instructional scaffold, Model-Evidence Link diagrams to promote the use of argumentation and critical evaluation in science classrooms. 125 science teachers, who were working in public schools of an urban area in Turkey participated in the workshop. Findings revealed that 90% of the participants stated that the use of MEL diagram is appropriate for science teaching. Promoting higher order thinking skills was the highest benefit, whereas the need for time for the development and implementation of the material was the greatest challenge for the use of the MEL diagrams in science classrooms. This study contributes to the literature on teaching socio-scientific issues, especially through argumentation, evidence-based thinking, and critical evaluation.


Evidence-based thinking, argumentation, socio-scientific issues, climate change

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