The aim of this study was to explore how the design of this chemistry lesson for citizenship influences students’ use of different perspectives in decision-making about ‘the use and sale of laughing gas’. In this study, ‘the use and sale of laughing gas among youth’ was chosen as a socio-scientific issue. This chemistry lesson for citizenship was designed according to the 5E instructional approach, and activating pedagogical methods and tools (i.e., group discussion, reading the information cards, taking notes, watching instructional videos) were used. Both the types of perspectives used and the effectiveness of the pedagogies implemented were explored. Twenty-three students from two classes participated in the study. The data were collected through five tools (four worksheets and a questionnaire). The students mainly used ‘scientist’ perspective by focusing on what research says about the possible consequences of inhaling laughing gas. The students also focused on ‘health’; principally, they referred to the relation between the amount of laughing gas used and the damage it may cause. As to the influential pedagogical elements of the lesson, the ‘videos’ were found to be the most effective and informative. In addition, the ‘group discussion’ was also found to be an influential activity of the lesson on making decisions about the use and sale of laughing gas. Therefore, our results suggest that the lesson design supported the students to recognize and use different perspectives to make informed decisions about the sale and use of laughing gas.
- Chemistry lesson for citizenship
- Informed decision-making
- Socio-scientific issues
- Using different perspectives