by Ruth Amos & Ralph Levinson (UCL Institute of Education, UK)
During the autumn semester at UCL |Institute of Education, London we have once again run socio-scientific inquiry-based learning (SSIBL) training sessions with our new cohort of 104 pre-service science teachers (PSTs). This year, we included a scenario on under-age smoking. We linked to issues associated with the use of ‘new technology’ afforded by e-cigarettes (see Figure below).
This was both thought-provoking and touched naturally on personal issues such as relatives trying to give up smoking, as well as the lack of existing evidence on the risks associated with e-smoking. They really appreciated how powerful SSIBL activities can be in terms of asking contemporary, meaningful questions and thinking about ethically-sensitive research. We worked on creating learning activities to promote researching answers in different ways, for example, using questionnaire surveys, interviews and discussions. The PSTs are going back into their training schools in January 2016 to find appropriate topics and scenarios for promoting curiosity questions, which can be then be shaped into investigable inquiry questions. The goal is to empower students to carry out responsible research, which helps students to think about possible personal actions.
On Friday, January 8, 2016, PARRISE partners from UCL IOE and the University of Southampton are teaming up to give a workshop at the Association for Science Education’s (ASE) Annual Conference at the University of Birmingham. The theme is socio-scientific inquiry within the English science National Curriculum strand of “Working Scientifically”. A report on this will appear in the next PARRISE newsletter.