Main Article Content
A major aim of science education reform documents (Achieve, 2013) is for K-12 students to engage in scientific practices to facilitate a better understanding of the processes and the aspects of doing science (Bybee, 2014). In this design case we present the design of a teaching unit on a socioscientific issue (SSI) that can potentially engage learners in modeling and argumentation. The unit focuses on the controversy about the declining population of honeybees. The “Should we care about the bees?” unit engages the participants in the practice of modeling for explaining and arguing about the causes, consequences, and possible solutions related to the problem of the bees. Our unit aims to illustrate how to address the intersections between science and society and to promote scientific practices in science learning and teaching. Two university science educators from different countries worked together to design and re-design the teaching unit. Initially the unit was designed in order to promote the exploration of the socio-scientific issue through argumentation, but after an initial implementation we decided to focus on modeling the issue as well. The final design product is a seven-week unit. In this paper we discuss design challenges and decisions of using an SSI based unit that promotes learning and teaching SSIs in the context of scientific practices.