Research Trends on Socioscientific Issues: A Content Analysis of Publications in Selected Science Education Journals

Nurcan Tekin, Oktay Aslan, Suleyman Yilmaz


Socioscientific issues (SSIs) have gained recently more importance in science education. SSIs are an important component of scientific literacy. SSIs are social dilemmas including conceptual or technological links to science. The present study aims to determine SSIs related research trends via content analyses of the articles published from 2004 to 2015 in five selected science education journals (SE, JRST, S&E, IJSE and RSE). Therefore, first, five journals with the highest impact factor were selected. Then, SSIs related papers were determined using electronic database search and thus 122 SSIs related articles were analyzed to determine trends in timeline, research types, related research topics, and research sample groups. The results show that SSIs related articles increased steadily leading to a peak in 2012 with the highest publishing rate in IJSE. Most of the SSIs related research employed qualitative methods. The highest rate of SSIs related qualitative studies was determined in IJSE (50.00%), and the lowest in S&E (3.57%). However quantitative methods were employed the least. In the relevant SSIs related research published about argumentation, decision-making, and informal reasoning were the most frequent SSIs related topics. The most studied research sample groups consisted of junior and senior high school students. Preschoolers were not among the sample groups. These findings indicate SSIs progressed throughout the years for paving the way for further SSIs related research studies.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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