A case study of the development of moral sensitivity in preservice teachers as the result of exposure to unintegrated and integrated socio-scientific issues

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Emily Grace Westbrook Jonathan M Breiner

Abstract

One goal of improving the scientific literacy of students is to enable them to interact with important socio-scientific issues (SSI).  Moral development and moral sensitivity are necessary for negotiations and solutions involving SSI.  This study used a previously developed model to determine the impact on the development of moral sensitivity in preservice teachers as a result of a single, unintegrated SSI, followed by an integrated SSI in a two-semester chemistry sequence.  After the first unintegrated SSI, the test group had greater progression of moral sensitivity compared to the comparison group, with significant progression observed in the male test group participants.  In response to the second SSI, the preservice teachers saw a significant progression of moral sensitivity compared to their original scores.  These results suggest that student exposure to even one SSI in a science course can help develop their moral sensitivity with greater gains seen from additional exposures.

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