Learning nature of science through socioscientific issues

Siu Ling WONG, Zhihong WAN, Maurice Man Wai CHENG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


A series of reforms in science education in Hong Kong started at the turn of the twenty-first century. In line with international trends, science education in Hong Kong has undergone considerable changes in the last decade since the implementation of the revised junior secondary science curriculum (grades 7–9) (Curriculum Development Council [CDC], 1998). The new curriculum encourages teachers to conduct scientific investigations in their classes, advocates scientific investigation as a desired means of learning scientific knowledge, and highlights the development of inquiry practices and generic skills such as collaboration and communication. Most importantly, it was the first local science curriculum that embraced understanding of nature of science (NOS), for example, being “able to appreciate and understand the evolutionary nature of scientific knowledge” (CDC, 1998, p. 3) was stated as one of its broad curriculum aims. In the first topic, “What is science?”, teachers are expected to discuss with students some features about science, for example, its scope and limitations, some typical features about scientific investigations, for example, fair testing, control of variables, predictions, hypothesis, inferences, and conclusions. Such an emphasis on NOS was further supported in the revised secondary 4 and 5 (grade 10 and 11) physics, chemistry, and biology curricula (CDC, 2002). Scientific investigation continued to be an important component while the scope of NOS was slightly extended to include recognition of the usefulness and limitations of science as well as the interactions between science, technology, and society (STS). Copyright © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocio-scientific issues in the classroom: Teaching, learning and research
EditorsTroy D. SADLER
Place of PublicationThe Netherlands
ISBN (Print)9789400711587, 9789400711594
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Wong, S. L., Wan, Z., & Cheng, M. M. W. (2011). Learning nature of science through socioscientific issues. In T. D. Sadler (Ed), Socio-scientific issues in the classroom: Teaching, learning and research (pp. 245-269). The Netherlands: Springer.


  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Instructional material
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome patient
  • Socioscientific issue


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