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big science covid 19 learning enjoyment learning interest socio scientific issues

Predicting Learning Interest among Taiwanese Students in the Context of Big Science Issues

Brady Michael Jack , Chi-Chen Chen , Hsin-Hui Wang , Thomas J. Smith

Research shows that learning enjoyment in specific socio-scientific issues (SSI) plays an important role in predicting grade 10 students’ learni.


Research shows that learning enjoyment in specific socio-scientific issues (SSI) plays an important role in predicting grade 10 students’ learning interest and learning enjoyment (i.e., genuine interest) in SSI subjects generally. However, it remains unexplored whether learning enjoyment also mediates a predictive effect of learning interest in a Big Science SSI of pressing contemporary global concern—COVID-19—on grade 12 high school students’ learning interest in SSI generally. The purpose of this study is to investigate how learning enjoyment may mediate the predictive effect of learning interest in the specific Big Science SSI of COVID-19 specifically on students’ learning interest in SSI subjects generally. Latent variable modeling using data collected from grade 12 students (N = 691) showed personal perceptions of learning enjoyment in SSI partially mediated the predictive effect of learning interest in the SSI of COVID-19 on learning interest in other Big Science SSI subjects. Implications for promoting among science educators and policy specialists the active development of students’ individual interests and involvement in other 21st century Big Science SSI challenges are forwarded. 

Keywords: Big science, COVID-19, learning enjoyment, learning interest, socio-scientific issues.

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