Pre-test quiz scores averaged 11 out of a possible 20, the lowest
being a 5 and the highest being a 17, showing different levels of relevant scientific content knowledge on the topic. For the next four
weeks, students learned and explored more about marine ecosystems and coastal zone management through lecture and article
research. Posttest scores featured an average of 13, with scores ranging from 6 to 19, suggesting improvement for both groups; this was
supported by a one-tailed dependent-samples t-test (P < 0.05). Due
to this, means were tested to compare between the SSI and non-SSI
groups. As seen in Table 2, means and standard deviations (SD) were
10.87 ± 3.20 (pretest) and 13.16 ± 2.63 (posttest) for the SSI group,
and 11.54 ± 2.86 (pretest) and 13.11 ± 3.05 (posttest) for the non-SSI group. A z-test (z < 0.05) confirmed the significance of the
higher gain observed for the SSI group (P = 0.0372).
Descriptive analysis did not reveal a favorable impact on SSR in the
SSI group (9.21 ± 3.13 pretest vs. 9.07 ± 3.31 posttest), whereas
the non-SSI group demonstrated improvement (7.95 ± 3.94 pretest
vs. 9.30 ± 3.49 posttest) (Table 2). Unfortunately, the ANCOVA of
data for SSR did not reveal significant changes between groups or
after experience with SSI. These findings resemble those reported
by Romine et al. (2017), in which content knowledge was positively impacted while SSR scores reflected no significant changes
in students who negotiated with SSI.
Table 1. QuASSR items and scores based on students’ socioscientific reasoning (SSR).
Response High-level SSR (2 points) Average-level SSR (1 point) Basic-level SSR (0 points)
SSR complexity question: Are the problems in “La Parguera” easy to resolve?
No Because it involves balancing the
economy with environmental
action, legislation, and the
possibility of relocating residents.
Because not enough
information is provided. If
more details were available,
it would be easier to resolve.
Because it involves the
combined effort of the
government, the residents,
and the environmentalists.
Yes N/A N/A “La Parguera” is a tourist attraction and an
economic engine for the town of Lajas.
Restoration must be a priority.
Conservation efforts should mimic those
of the Indian River Lagoon. They are on
the right path.
An admission fee should be implemented
to cover the costs of restoration.
SSR perspective-taking question: How likely is it that an environmental advocacy group and the residents of the stilt houses would
endorse the same solution to this situation?
The residents of the stilt houses
and the environmental advocacy
group have different concerns and
points of view about the situation.
The residents of the stilt
houses and the
group may have access to
different pieces of
information about the
environmental situation of
The residents of the stilt houses and the
environmental advocacy group haven’t
had a chance to meet and come up with
Very likely N/A N/A Both groups can work on finding a
solution and coming up with a plan.
A forum for open discussion between
groups will foster reaching a solution.
A neutral entity can listen to both parties
and come up with a mediation plan.