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Theoretical approaches to SSI-STEAM teaching: developing and evaluating an SSI-STEAM program

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posted on 2022-10-13, 23:08 authored by Ha My Anna Mang

Science education in the 21st century emphasises the need to develop students’ scientific literacy and enable them to be active and informed citizens. To achieve this goal, science education researchers are calling for science teachers to consider the arts-integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM) approach to reframe how they teach science, so that their teaching may better connect students to authentic real-world problems. However, there have been concerns that STEAM is not fully capable of connecting students cognitively and emotionally to real-world problems. One way to potentially address this gap is to integrate the socio-scientific issues (SSI) perspective into STEAM instruction. This study uses the design-based research (DBR) method to identify key principles that can inform the development of an SSI-STEAM framework and translate it into program development. Furthermore, this study has developed an evaluation rubric to validate a newly developed SSI-STEAM integrated climate change program and identify gaps and weaknesses in other existing climate change programs. The findings indicate that there are four key principles needed for effective SSI-STEAM learning: Enacting values and practices, Affective learning, Authentic contexts and activities, and Interdisciplinary thinking and integrated practices. The translation of these principles into program design is facilitated by the use of the instructional 5E inquiry model. The 5E model engages students with five key stages of learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. However, the findings of this study highlight the need to add a sixth stage known as Enact to the 5E inquiry model, and thus create a 6E inquiry model. Furthermore, the evaluation of various climate change programs illustrates that many programs are not adequately addressing arts-related practices or/and the SSI component in science learning. This study has implications for supporting teachers in their implementation of innovative instructional practices that can deeply and meaningfully engage students with science within and beyond the boundaries of the classroom.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction -- Chapter 2: Literature review -- Chapter 3: Theoretical framework -- Chapter 4: Methodology -- Chapter 5: The SSI-STEAM integrated model and program -- Chapter 6: Evaluation of climate change programs -- Chapter 7: Conclusion -- References -- Appendices


This thesis has been submitted as a partial fulfilment to the requirement for the Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, 2021

Department, Centre or School

School of Education

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Hye Eun Chu


Copyright: Ha My Anna Mang Copyright disclaimer:




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