Enhancing Preservice Teachers’ Understanding of the Nature of Science through Place-Based Socioscientific Issue Instruction: The Sea-Filled Airport Case

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Avşar Erümit B., Yüksel T.

in: Socioscientific Issues Focused Teacher Education: Place-Based Practices from Türkiye, B. Namdar ve E. Karahan, Editor, Springer Nature, Zug, pp.133-151, 2024

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Publisher: Springer Nature
  • City: Zug
  • Page Numbers: pp.133-151
  • Editors: B. Namdar ve E. Karahan, Editor
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Coastal countries are increasingly considering the construction of sea-filled airports to address limitations imposed by land availability. While these airports provide additional space in areas where land is scarce or expensive, they also have significant adverse impacts, including sea pollution, disruption of marine ecosystems, and harm to aquatic organisms. This study focuses on the Rize-Artvin airport, a sea-filled airport, to explore the implementation of place-based learning in developing the understanding of the nature of science and socioscientific reasoning among preservice middle school social studies teachers regarding the airport’s necessity in the region. The study was conducted within an out-of-school learning environment course. This chapter presents the results from the Views of Nature of Science (VNOS-B) questionnaire and essays, which examined preservice teachers’ rationale for the necessity of an airport in the region. These were administered at the start and end of the intervention. The findings reveal that place-based learning enhanced the preservice teachers’ comprehension of certain aspects of the nature of science (NOS), with notable improvements in understanding the concepts of tentativeness, creativity, subjectivity, and differentiating between opinions and scientific knowledge. Additionally, there were significant changes in their decision-making processes following the place-based socioscientific issues (SSI) activity. This was apparent in their post-activity essays, which demonstrated reasoning influenced by their place-based experiences, as opposed to the pre-activity essays, where they relied on general claims and personal opinions regarding the airport’s necessity. Based on these results, the study recommends using sea-filled airports as an SSI context and utilizing place-based instruction to enhance students’ socioscientific reasoning and understanding of the nature of science. Additionally, land reclamation projects for residential and commercial purposes can serve as valuable place-based SSI contexts.