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Ethical Dilemmas and Deliberative Dialogue as Means for Increasing Students' Science Capital: A World Café–Inspired Design

Sun, April 7, 11:50am to 1:20pm, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Floor: 300 Level, Hall C


This study examined the conjecture that engaging students with contemporary science-related ethical dilemmas, and contemporary methods for deliberative dialogue to negotiate such dilemmas, will increase their science capital. About 80 students participated in a World-Café out-of-school event, along with about 20 adults (teachers, parents, scientists, community members, school district members, and education researchers). Descriptive statistics and content analysis of survey answers were used for assessing change in students’ science capital. Findings indicate that the World-Café-inspired design supported both science-related behaviors and practices in the form of accountable talk, and students’ feeling that they benefited from discussing science with peers. These served as mediating processes for newly developed science-related dispositions and identities as well as future science affinity among students.