Pre-service Science Teachers’ Informal Reasoning Patterns and Risk Perceptions in SSI: Case of Gene Therapy

Umran Betul Cebesoy 1 *
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1 Department of Mathematics and Science Education, Usak University, Usak, TURKEY
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp. 211-229.
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One crucial characteristic of scientifically literate individuals is making informed decisions in socioscientific issues (SSI). Participants’ reasoning patterns and their risk perceptions shape their decisions. Thus, determining participants’ informal reasoning patterns along with their risk perceptions while making decisions in SSI becomes important. This study fulfills this important point by exploring pre-service science teachers’ informal reasoning patterns and their risk perceptions in an SSI topic, specifically gene therapy. Eleven pre-service science teachers enrolling in two different public universities participated in the study voluntarily. The study was designed as a basic qualitative approach. The data were collected by semi-structured interviews focusing on the use of gene therapy in Huntington’s disease and human intelligence cases. The results revealed that pre-service science teachers made decisions by using one (rationalistic, emotive, or intuitive) or more informal reasoning patterns together. Moreover, their risk perceptions were found to be based on the potential and severity of effects on humanity and society, participants’ morals and values, side effects, and a general concern born out of fear. In addition to their risk perceptions regarding gene therapy, they referred to positive aspects of technology, negative aspects of technology, and a two-edged sword implying positive and negative aspects of technology as a whole while making decisions. These results altogether pin the importance of including multiple forms of informal reasoning and risk perceptions in the pre-service science teacher education programs.


Cebesoy, U. B. (2021). Pre-service Science Teachers’ Informal Reasoning Patterns and Risk Perceptions in SSI: Case of Gene Therapy. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9(4), 211-229.


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