In order to help partner schools design high-quality SSI-L activity plans, the project team held a workshop on SSI-L design for elementary schools via Tencent conference room from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm on September 16th, 2020. Hosted by Cao Chunhao, Head of the National Elementary School Section of SSI-L project, a special-ranked teacher and elementary science teaching researcher at the Education and Research Center of Tongzhou Distrcit, Beijing, the workshop was attended by more than 50 participants, including backbone teachers from 15 partner schools, AISL expert team members, and other school heads and teachers.
The workshop focused on three programs with rapid progress, each from Jihong Elementary School in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Yifu Elementary School in Datong, Shanxi Province, and Dalton Elementary School in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province. Mr. Cao Chunhao invited Mr. Peng Menghua, head of the AISL expert team and a special-ranked physics teacher from the Second High School Attached To Beijing Normal University, and Ms. Liang Jie, core member of the National Chinese Curriculum Standard Revision Group and a special-ranked Chinese teacher of Beijing No. 5 High School, to attend the online discussion as expert instructors. Three backbone teachers from the partner schools briefly introduced the cases with local characteristics developed by their schools, and then Mr. Peng Menghua and Ms. Liang Jie offered comments and suggestions on each case. Ms. Shang Xiufen from Shanxi Academy of Educational Sciences, and Ms. Zhang Xinli from STEM Education Research Center of Wenzhou University also raised their thoughts and suggestions. All the participants joined the lively discussion at the meeting.
Finally, Dr. Lin Jing, the project leader, summarized the meeting and pointed out that: Socio-scientific issues are a kind of complex and open problems, which should not be positioned as positive or negative issues; the key to learning SSI is to let students experience and learn to think and make rational decisions on complex issues involving science, ethics, society, politics, economy and other aspects, so as to enhance students’ scientific literacy and key competencies. In program design, we can further focus on the positioning of students’ development of key competencies, and pay attention to the operational implementation of key competencies. Instead of being simply general or superficial, the activity design should be in line with the development level of cognition, emotion and ability of elementary school students.
The discussion and exchange of activity plans of the three elementary schools helped the participating backbone teachers to further understand the topic selection and problem formulation of SSI, provided examples of the activity plan design for other schools, and promoted the high-quality development of the follow-up SSI-L project.