Positive emotional responses to hybridised writing about a Socio-Scientific issue
Tomas, L. and Ritchie, S.M. (2012) Positive emotional responses to hybridised writing about a Socio-Scientific issue. Research in Science Education, 42 (1). pp. 25-49.
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In order to understand better the role of affect in learning about socio-scientific issues (SSI), this study investigated Year 12 students’ emotional arousal as they participated in an online writing-to-learn science project about the socio-scientific issue of biosecurity. Students wrote a series of hybridised scientific narratives, or BioStories, that integrate scientific information about biosecurity with narrative storylines, and uploaded these to a dedicated website. Throughout their participation in the project, students recorded their emotional responses to the various activities (N = 50). Four case students were also video recorded during selected science lessons as they researched, composed and uploaded their BioStories for peer review. Analysis of these data, as well as interview data obtained from the case students, revealed that pride, strength, determination, interest and alertness were among the positive emotions most strongly elicited by the project. These emotions reflected students’ interest in learning about a new socio-scientific issue, and their enhanced feelings of self-efficacy in successfully writing hybridised scientific narratives in science. The results of this study suggest that the elicitation of positive emotional responses as students engage in hybridised writing about SSI with strong links to environmental education, such as biosecurity, can be valuable in engaging students in education for sustainability.
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