社会性科学议题（Socio-scientific issues, SSI）是与科学、技术密切相关的复杂社会问题。全球变暖、大气变化、当地水污染等都属于社会性科学议题。海淀区“以大概念为统领的社会性科学议题跨学科学习研究”群体课题旨在通过案例研究引导学生关注复杂社会问题，增强社会责任感、担当意识和可持续发展意识；围绕大概念设计社会性科学议题学习活动，培养学生科学素养；以社会性科学议题学习活动设计带动学校教师跨学科交流与协作。
Socio-scientific issues (SSI) are complex social issues that are closely related to science and technology. Global warming, atmospheric changes, and local water pollution are all SSI issues. The aim of the group project “Interdisciplinary Study of Social-scientific Issues Led by Big Ideas” in Haidian District is to guide students to pay attention to complex social issues through case studies and enhance their sense of social responsibility, consciousness, and sustainable development awareness; to design learning activities of social-scientific issues around big ideas to cultivate students’ scientific literacy; and to use social-scientific issues to motivate school teachers to design learning activities in a way of promoting interdisciplinary communication and collaboration.
In the afternoon of September 27, 2021, the group project of “Interdisciplinary Study of Social-scientific Issues Led by Big Ideas” was officially launched in Haidian District. It is a collaborative project between Haidian Institute of Education Sciences and the SSI-L project team of Beijing Normal University. At the kick-off meeting, Professor Lin Jing, the SSI-L project leader of Beijing Normal University, attended the meeting with a team of advisors and experts, including Principal Wang Benzhong, the general advisor of the project alliance, and Mr. Peng Menghua, the leader of the expert team and the head of Beijing area, to conduct training on the project. Wu Yinghui, the Haidian project leader and dean of Haidian Institute of Education Sciences, gave guidance on the development of the project. Liu Xiaoyu, the Haidian project implementer, gave an explanation on the group program. Hosted by Song Shiyun, director of the Curriculum Center of Haidian Institute of Education Sciences, the kick-off meeting was participated by executives from 18 project schools and researchers from Haidian Institute of Education Sciences.
Principal Wang Benzhong talked about the process of getting involved with the SSI project, affirmed its value, and believed that Haidian had the foundation and potential to succeed. At the same time, he pointed out that given the name of the project was long, all the members must locate the key words precisely and understand the connotation of the topic thoroughly.
Liu Xiaoyu focused on the four aspects of the group project, namely, research background, concept definition, research objectives, and research content, and introduced the activities planned for this semester. The essence of “Interdisciplinary Study of Social-scientific Issues Led by Big Ideas” is interdisciplinary learning research. Social-scientific issues are the focus of learning activities, and big concepts are the organization center of learning activities. This group project focuses on the enhancement of students’ scientific thinking, scientific attitudes and social responsibility. By taking social-scientific issues as the entry point, guiding students to participate in society and giving them space to learn science, argue science and express their views in complex social contexts, this program tries to explore effective paths for implementing the fundamental task of establishing moral education, optimizing teaching methods and improving students’ scientific literacy.
Professor Lin Jing gave a systematic introduction to the whole project from five aspects: project intention, objectives, organization, content and system. SSI-L project firstly follows the law of learning, highlights the value of the subject, connects the status quo and the future world, and provides an educational path that points to core competencies. Secondly, the project directly targets the current educational dilemma of core competencies and provides teachers with a clear development path. Finally, the project is based on monitoring to promote the improvement of scientific literacy for primary and secondary school students. The key to the development of SSI-L activities is teacher’s development. Only good teachers can form good activity designs and implement the curriculum well. Therefore, the project will focus on teacher’s development and classroom reform so as to enhance student’s development.
Peng Menghua shared a case study of the development and implementation of SSI-L activities in the Second High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University. Based on the existing project-based learning curriculum, the school integrated social-scientific issues into the learning content and improved the content and format of the project on making electric stringed instruments, resulting in a curriculum based on the making of electric stringed instruments and further research on the relationship between “preserving tradition and innovation”. The students’ scientific understanding, hands-on production, expression and critical thinking abilities have all been improved. This semester, the school will continue to study social-scientific issues on the topic of “whether the full use of solar energy can meet human energy needs”.
Dean Wu Yinghui’s speech once again clarified the background meaning of the project, explained the three key words of the topic and gave guidance on the future research direction. On the one hand, SSI-L is an inheritance and upgrade of research-based learning, which can be implemented in more interest groups and student clubs, and also in some school laboratory courses, with students’ interests as the priority, and with the value and support by principals. On the other hand, the region and the school must accumulate some characteristic cases through this project, and these cases will become the curriculum characteristics of the school in the future, and the school should form a continuous training for their students through this curriculum.
At the meeting, the experts issued project certificates to the 18 subject schools, and awarded appointment letters to Dean Wu and the researchers of Haidian Institute of Education Sciences.
At this point, Haidian SSI-L Group Project was officially launched. The project is expected to accumulate a number of mature curriculum cases and form characteristic interdisciplinary curriculum results through two rounds of practice in the research for two and a half years. In this semester, the focus of the research will be the selection of topics and the overall design of learning activity programs. It is expected that the SSI-L activities can truly promote the development of the school’s interdisciplinary teacher team and the improvement of students’ scientific literacy.