STS Student Learning Model: An Effective Approach to Identifying Environmental Problems and Solutions

By Jiyoon Yoon and Yekang Ko.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper evaluates the effects that the STS (Science, Technology, and Society) Student Learning Model has on students learning environmental issues and solutions. STS is the “teaching and learning of science and technology in the context of human experience” (National Science Teachers Association 1990-91). By incorporating the STS approach, this study designed the STS Student Learning Model, which includes various student activities, such as: STS invitations, role-play contests, documentary movie projects, classroom projects and group discussions. Thirty teacher candidates who enrolled in the STS course of a North American post-secondary institution participated in this study. In order to evaluate the learning outcomes of the STS Student Learning Model, we examined student reflection journals after all of the participants had completed the course. The results demonstrated that the STS Student Learning Model was effective for participants to successfully place themselves in specific situations within the environmental issues, to have a chance to consider the issue more seriously, to be able to identify the causes of the problems, find solutions and find practical instructional methods to educate people about environmental issues.

Keywords: Science-Technology-Society, Environmental Education, Science Education, Hands-on Learning, Problem Solving, Reflection Journals

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.133-147. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 566.825KB).

Dr. Jiyoon Yoon

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Texas Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA

Dr. Jiyoon Yoon, Associate Professor and Director of Early Childhood-Elementary Program of Curriculum and Instruction at University of Texas, Arlington, received her Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington, majoring in Science Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Her minors are Instructional Systems Technology and Studies of Public Environmental Affairs. Dr. Yoon participated in extensive science method research studies and instructional technology projects. Dr. Yoon is currently teaching a science method course and working on nationally funded research studies. Her research has focused on establishing rich science teaching-learning environments with the aid of technology for 21st century.

Yekang Ko

Assistant Professor, School of Urban & Public Affairs, University of Texas, Arlington, USA

Dr. Ko is Assistant Professor of the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Arlington. Dr. Ko obtained her Ph.D. degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research and teaching support the long-term resilience of built environments that minimize the impacts of urban development on ecosystems and reduce the consumption of energy and natural resources. She is also interested in developing and practicing hands-on curriculum for environmental education utilizing community service learning. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses related to environmental planning and sustainable communities by integrating community service learning. Her research and professional projects are based on environmental science, policy, planning and active collaboration with local governments and NGOs.