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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Using Construal Theory to Understand Students' Problemization of a Biodiversity Socio-Scientific Issue

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AUTHORS: A. McKinzie Peterson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Jenny Dauer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Cory Forbes, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

ABSTRACT: Socio-scientific issues (SSIs) represent challenges at the intersection of science and everyday life that require students to use scientific knowledge, argumentation skills, personal values, and morals to articulate science-informed decisions. Biodiversity SSIs are an important but largely understudied SSIs topic. A students’ initial ‘framing’ of a SSI has the potential to contribute substantially to solutions they propose and decisions they make. However, very little is known about how college students conceptualize biodiversity SSIs, particularly how they problematize their scientific and social dimensions. To address this need, we developed a two week unit around a Great Plains biodiversity SSI on a species, the prairie dog, which is ecologically important to the Great Plains, but interferes with ranching operations. Here, we analyze student artifacts (n = 73) to better understand perceptions of the prairie dog issue on a continuum of concrete to abstract using Construal Level Theory, which suggests that concrete situations lead to poor alignment between personal values and behavioral intention whereas more distant and abstract situations have the opposite effect. Preliminary work shows that student problem statements are not overwhelmingly concrete or abstract. Understanding the implications of concrete and abstract thinking about this prairie dog SSI has implications for improving science literacy.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Lancaster Ballroom

Attendees (1)