The online meeting of SSI-L case writing for high schools was held from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on September 1 via the Tencent Conference Room. Tan Yongping, Leader of the National High School Section and Director of the Biology Office of People’s Education Press, presided over the online meeting, which was attended by AISL subject specialists, section leaders and backbone teachers at the partner schools.
First, Mr. Min Jia, from the High School Affiliated to East China University of Political Science and Law, shared a case study of SSI-L with the theme of “Practice and Research of SSI Learning – Taking the High School Affiliated to East China University of Political Science and Law as an Example”. By summarizing the SSI-L activities carried out in the previous year, he hoped it could provide reference for future SSI-L activities. The unit “Sulfites as Food Additives” was based on the three driving questions: “1) What is a food additive, 2) Why can sulfur dioxide and sulfites be used as food additives, and 3) What are the standards for the use of food additives?”. The activities were mainly focused on chemistry, and were expected to integrate more subjects in the future.
Next, Mr. Tan Yongping shared the main concerns for case writing on SSI-L topics. He suggested to think more and consider as comprehensively as possible in the process of case writing. Mr. Tan commented that the case written by Ms. Min Jia did not reflect the “big picture”, i.e., how the project was carried out? How did the process of the project unfold and how did the process reflect the characteristics of the SSI issue? The focus needed to be on social, scientific, and practical aspects, not just on the learning of concepts within the discipline. The case writing should be based on the actual situation of teaching and learning. In addition to textual descriptions, pictures and other materials of SSI-L should be added to visually reflect the actual situation of teaching and learning. Mr. Tan also suggested adding more contents, like “Why did I choose this topic?”, “What is the meaning and value of this topic?”, and “How does this issue relate to the actual situation in my school?” etc., to provide readers with more background information on the development of the topic.
Mr. Zhou Youxiang from Changping No. 1 High School of Beijing shared his insights from reading the case study of SSI-L teaching at North Carolina State University in the U.S. He believed that we currently have too many theoretical elements in SSI-L activities and too little content in the hands-on and experimental investigations of students. Mr. Zhou talked about the initial idea of the SSI-L activity on the theme of “Carbon Neutral”, considering the development of students’ thinking on the one hand, and conducting the SSI-L activity design with paper bags on the other hand.
Mr. Tan suggested that the case writing should be based on the SSI-L activities conducted in the previous semester, and it should be carried out at the same time as the practice of SSI-L activities. He affirmed Mr. Zhou’s initial idea of SSI-L activity with the theme of “Carbon Neutral”, which was deemed as innovative and feasible as it fully integrated the learning contents of biology and geography and was closely related to the society. Mr. Tan encouraged teachers to follow and actively participate in the SSI-L seminars for middle schools. At last, Dr. Lin Jing discussed with the participating experts and teachers about the organization and coordination of the seminars and how to better promote the SSI-L project to achieve better results.