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Socio-Scientific Issues in Science Teaching

Enrollment is Closed

N.B. Enquiries regarding the future implementation of this course should be directed to University of Eastern Finland, see contact details below.

About This Course

In this course, the participants - student teachers, teachers, teacher educators, and researchers - are welcomed to become acquainted with the use of socio-scientific issues in science teaching either in primary or secondary education. Teachers and student teachers plan and implement one or two teaching modules that will be based on so called Three Stage Model; the modules consists of three phases: Scenario - Inquiry - Decision-making. The students in science classes will answer questionnaires before and after the teaching module implementation. The data gained from these questionnaires will answer our joint research question in this study group:

How does the teaching approach focusing on socio-scientific decision-making motivate secondary students in science?

Working in study group is organized in Google sites environment in which the assignments are given and where the participants deliver their products (like the planned teaching modules, descriptions of implementations with, e.g., video clips, research data etc.). The instructor and peers as well as other participants give continuous feedback on assignments and teaching implementations. The gathered data and results will be compared within the participating countries and reflected in the frame of each participant's professional development.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course students will be able to:

  • understand the Three Stage Model including scenario, inquiries and decision making phase
  • use the approach in school teaching
  • collect evidence of the effect of the teaching approach
  • reflect on comparable results from different countries.
The assessment scale of the course is “passed / failed”.


The course is based on the outputs of the PROFILES (Professional Reflection Oriented Focus on Inquiry-based Learning and Education through Science) project. The PROFILES project has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 266589. See more: link).


The participants should be familiar with the basic knowledge in science education, i.e., goals and contents of science education (curricular knowledge), teaching methods like practical work in science teaching, teaching and learning materials (textbooks, worksheets, etc.), and basic assessment methods. Participating teachers as well as student teachers need to have possibility to implement a teaching sequence of 3-5 hours at school. The language in this study group is English, although teaching implementations and data gathering will take place in local language.

Course Staff

Kari Sormunen

Kari Sormunen

Dr. Kari Sormunen has been the senior lecturer of science education for 17 years at the University of Eastern Finland. He has been responsible for science student teachers' teaching practice in communal schools. He has participated in many EU projects as an expert, but also as local coordinator.


  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

    Oct 06, 2014
  3. Classes End

    Dec 12, 2014