Preservice science teachers’ belief systems about teaching a socioscientific ıssue


  • Ahmet Kılınç Abant Izzet Baysal University, Faculty of Education, Bolu-TURKEY
  • Ozlem Afacan Ahi Evran University, Faculty of Education, Kırşehir-TURKEY
  • Dilber Polat Ahi Evran Üniversity, Faculty of Education, Kırşehir-TURKEY
  • Pınar Demirci Güler Ahi Evran Üniversity, Faculty of Education, Kırşehir-TURKEY
  • Kasım Yıldıtım Muğla Sıtkı Kocaman University, Faculty of Education, Muğla-TURKEY
  • Ümit Demiral Ahi Evram University, Faculty of Education, Kırşehir-TURKEY
  • Baris Eroğlu Aksaray University, FAculty of Education, Aksaray-TURKEY
  • Tezcan Kartal Ahi Evran Üniversity, Faculty of Education, Kırşehir-TURKEY
  • Arzu Sönmez Abant Izzet Baysal University, Bolu-TURKEY
  • Busra Iserı Gazi University, Ankara-TURKEY
  • Ozkan Görgülü Ahi Evran University, Faculty of Education, Kırşehir-TURKEY



Belief System, Teaching Socioscientific Issues, Preservice Science Teachers, Turkey


We investigated the belief system of Turkish preservice science teachers (PSTs) about teaching a socioscientific issue (GM Foods) using a belief system model. This model includes three belief pools: content beliefs (CBs), core pedagogical beliefs (CPBs) and pedagogy of content beliefs (PCBs). Based on this model, we developed a questionnaire in order to see interrelationships among three belief pools about teaching GM Foods. For content beliefs, we selected content knowledge, risk perceptions, moral beliefs and religious beliefs. For pedagogy of content beliefs, we selected teaching efficacy, preferred teaching methods and preferred teacher’s roles. We administered the questionnaire to 423 PSTs. Using correlation analysis, multinomical logistic regression and structural equation modelling we tried to understand the relationships between CBs and PCBs and to make interpertations about possible CPBs working as a filter between CBs and PCBs. The results show that PSTs are relatively knowledgeable, hold high risk perceptions and certain moral and religious beliefs about GM Foods. They possess high teaching efficacy beliefs, choose the teaching role of Neutral Impartiality and prefer large class discussion and computerassisted teaching. As core pedagogical beliefs (CPBs), they may have traditional epistemologies, moral and religiously-based teaching goals.


Download data is not yet available.


Abelson, R. P. (1979). Differences between belief and knowledge systems. Cognitive Science, 3, 355-366.

Aikenhead, G. (2006). Science education for everyday life: Evidence-based practice. New York: Teacher College Press.

Akerson, V. L., Abd-El Khalick, F., & Lederman, N. (2000). Influence of a reflective explicit activity-based approach on elementary teachers’ conceptions of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(4), 295–317.

Author (in submission). Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

Author (2012a). Paper presented at NARST 2012 Conference.

Author (2012b). Asia Pasific Journal of Teacher Education.

Author (2013). Research in Science Education.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy in changing societies. Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress.

Bleicher, R. E.,&Lindgren, J. (2005). Success in learning science and preservice science teaching self-efficacy. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 16, 205-225.

Borko, H., & Putnam, R. (1996). Learning to teach. In D. Berliner & R. Calfee (Eds.) Handbook of Educational Psychology (pp.673-708). New York: MacMillan.

Bryce, T. (2004). Tough acts to follow: The challenges to science teachers presented by biotechnological progress. International Journal of ScienceEducation, 26(6), 717-733.

Cakiroglu, J., &Boone, W.J. (2002). Preservice elementary teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and their conceptions of photosynthesis and inheritance. Journal of Elementary Science Education, 14(1), 1-14.

Cross, R. T., & Price, R. F. (1996). Science teachers’ social conscience and the role of controversial issues in the teaching of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 33(3),319-333.

Dawson, V. (2001). Addressing controversial issues in secondary school science. Australian Science Teachers’ Journal, 47(4), 38-44.

Day, S. O, & Bryce, T. G. K. (2010). Does the discussion of socio-scientific issues require a paradigm shift in science teachers' thinking? International Journal of Science Education, 33(12), 1675-1702.

Driver, R., Leach, J., Millar, R., & Scott, P. (1996). Young people’s images of science. Buckingham UK: Open University Press.

Ekborg, M., Ottander, C., Silfver, O., &Simon, S. (2013). Teachers’ experience of working with socio-scientific issues: A large scale and in depth study. Research in Science Education. 43(2), 599-617.

Eurobarometer (2010). Europeans and Biotechnology in 2010: Winds of Change? A report to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research.

European Union. (2012). European Comissioner for research, innovation and science messages delivered at the conference ‘Science in Dialogue – Towards a European Model for Responsible Research and Innovation. Odense, Denmark, 23-25 April 2012.

Ertmer, P.A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(4), 25- 39.

Fives, H., &Buehl, M. (2012). Spring Cleaning for the “messy” construct of teachers’ beliefs: What are they? Which have been examined? What can they tell us? In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, & T. Urdan (Eds.). APA Educational Psychology Handbook: Volume 2. APA.

Fischhoff, B., Slovic, P., Lichtenstein, S., Read, S.S., & Combs, B. (1978). How safe is safe enough? A psychometric study of attitudes towards technological risks and benefits. Policy Science, 9, 127-152.

Esposito, J. L., &Voll, J.O, (1996). Islam and Democracy. Oxford University Press, New York.

Jones, M.G., & Carter, G. (2007). Science teacher attitudes and beliefs. In Abell, S.K. & Lederman, N.G. (Eds). Handbook of Research on Science Education (pp.1067-1105). New Jersey: Lawrance Erlbaum Associates.

Keefer, M. W. (2003). Moral reasoning and case-based approaches to ethical instruction in science. In D. L. Zeidler (Ed.) The role of moral reasoning on socioscientificissues and discourse in science education (pp. 241–259). Dordrecht: Springer.

Kelly, T.(1986). Discussing controversial issues: Four perspectives on the teacher's role, Theory and Research in Social Education, 14(2), 113 – 138.

Lee, H., Abd-EI-Khalick, F., & Choi, K. (2006). Korean science teachers' perceptions of the introduction of socio-scientific issues into the science curriculum. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 6(2), 97-117.

Lee, H. & Witz, K.G. (2009). Science teachers' inspiration for teaching socioscientific issues: Disconnection with reform efforts. International Journal of Science Education, 31(7), 931-960.

Lemke, J.L. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning, and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex

Lumpe, A. T., Haney, J. J., &Czerniak, C. M. (1998). Science teacher beliefs and intentions to implement science-technology-society (STS) in the classroom. Journal of ScienceTeacherEducation, 9(1), 1–24.

Michaels S.,O’Connor C., &Resnick L.(2008). Deliberative discourse idealized and realized: Accountable talk in the classroom and in civic life. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 27, 283–297.

Oulton, C., Dillon, J., &Grace, M. (2004). Reconceptualizing the teaching of controversial issues. International Journal of Science Education, 26(4), 411–424.

Pajares, F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307-332.

Posner, G. J., Strike, K. A., Hewson, P. W., & Gertzog, W. A. (1982). Accommodation of a scientificconception: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66, 211-227.

Ratcliffe, M., & Grace, M. (2003).Science education for citizenship: Teaching socio-scientific issues. Mainhead: Open University Press.

Reiss, M. J.(1999). Teaching ethics in science. Studies in Science Education, 34, 115-140.

Riggs, I. M., & Enochs, L. G. (1990). Toward the development of an elementary teacher’s science teaching efficacy belief instrument. Science Education, 74(6), 625-637.

Rokeach, M. (1968). Beliefs, attitudes, and values: A theory of organization and change. San Francisco: Jossey.

Sadler, T. (2011a). Socioscientific issues in the classroom: Teaching, learning and research. Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education: Volume 39, Springer.

Sadler, T. (2011b). Socioscientific issues-based education: What we know about science education in the context of SSI. In T.D. Sadler (Ed.) Socioscientific issues in the classroom: Teaching, learning and research (pp. 355-369). Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education: Volume 39, Springer.

Sadler, T.D.,Amirshokoohi, A., Kazempour, M., &Allspaw, P. (2006). Socioscience and ethics in science classrooms: Teacher perspectives and strategies. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 43(4), 353-376.

Simonneaux, L. (2007) Argumentation in Socio-Scientific Context. In S. Erduran, & M.P. Jimenez-Aleixandre (Eds). Argumentation in Science Education: Perspectives from classroom-based research (pp. 179-200). Dordrecht: Springer.

Sjöberg, L.(2008).Genetically modified food in the eyes of the public and experts. Risk Management, 10, 168-193

Szumilas, M. (2010). Explaining odds ratios. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 19(3), 227-229.

Tabachnick, B.G., &Fidell, L.S. (1996). Using multivariate statistics, NY: HarpersCollins. Tal, T.I, Kali, Y., Magid, S., &Madhok, J.J. (2011). Enhancing the authencity of a web-based module for teaching simple inheritance. In T.D. Sadler (Ed.) Socioscientific issues in the classroom: Teaching, learning and research (pp. 11-38). Contemporary Trends and

Issues in Science Education: Volume 39, Springer.

Yilmaz-Tuzun, O. (2008). Preservice elementary teachers’ beliefs about science teaching. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 29, 183-204.






15.09.2014 — Updated on 15.09.2014


How to Cite

Kılınç, A., Afacan, O., Polat, D., Demirci Güler, P., Yıldıtım, K., Demiral, Ümit, Eroğlu, B., Kartal, T., Sönmez, A., Iserı, B., & Görgülü, O. (2014). Preservice science teachers’ belief systems about teaching a socioscientific ıssue. Journal of Turkish Science Education, 11(3), 79-102.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 498

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.