“scientific skill development “ seems to
be inadequate emphasis since science should be morefocused on the development of scientific literacy (Pilot & Bulte, 2006:1088).Context-based learning is considered as solution of the unsatisfactory outcomes of traditionalschool science. It is believed that teaching in context will give students a clear understanding onthe canonical science concept. Teaching contextually is not about teaching the chemistrycontent and then providing real application but it is about using the real situation that can beexplained by the use of chemical concept (Corrigan & Rodriguez, n.d). It is expected that the
recognizable context could attract students’ attention and the desire of finding
out thephenomena will drive
stimulus for understanding the chemical concept(Bulte, Westbroek, Jong & Pilot, 2006:1063; Gilbert, Jong, Justi, treagust & Driel, 2002). Hence,an issues-based and a community-based approach will be used as the way of teaching thechemical concept contextually.It is a human nature that when faced with controversial issues in society, we tend to havediscussions in seeking explanations. Similarly, students are more interested in learningchemistry when they are given an issue or problem that they can relate to. An active learningapproach which places science content within a social context in a way that supplies bothmotivation and the ownership of learning to the student is known as issues or socio-scientificbased approach (Pedagogy in action, 2010). With this approach, students might find the issuesraised by the teachers are personally relevant and socially shared and might be in conflict with
one’s existing conception. Compare
d to the conventional instruction that uses a closedquestion and often works in isolation, the question that is raised by the teachers in the socio-scientific approach is an open-ended one which requires the students to explain the problem byusing a conceptual understanding and evidence. Generally, this approach requires cooperativelearning which could promote students communication skills, scientific problem-solving andsocio-scientific decision-making skills (Holbrook, 2005). Wongsri and Nuangchalerm (2010) alsoexplain that by learning using socio-scientific, it could increase learning achievement asstudents could understand the conceptual knowledge, analytical thinking and moral reasoning.