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Developing Students’ Critical Reasoning About Online Health Information‬: a Capabilities Approach‬
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.
2017 (English)In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The internet has become a main source for health-related information retrieval. In addition to information published by medical experts, individuals share their personal experiences and narratives on blogs and social media platforms. Our increasing need to confront and make meaning of various sources and conflicting health information has challenged the way critical reasoning has become relevant in science education. This study addresses how the opportunities for students to develop and practice their capabilities to critically approach online health information can be created in science education. Together with two upper secondary biology teachers, we carried out a design-based study. The participating students were given an online retrieval task that included a search and evaluation of health-related online sources. After a few lessons, the students were introduced to an evaluation tool designed to support critical evaluation of health information online. Using qualitative content analysis, four themes could be discerned in the audio and video recordings of student interactions when engaging with the task. Each theme illustrates the different ways in which critical reasoning became practiced in the student groups. Without using the evaluation tool, the students struggled to overview the vast amount of information and negotiate trustworthiness. Guided by the evaluation tool, critical reasoning was practiced to handle source subjectivity and to sift out scientific information only. Rather than a generic skill and transferable across contexts, students’ critical reasoning became conditioned by the multi-dimensional nature of health issues, the blend of various contexts and the shift of purpose constituted by the students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Capabilities, Critical reasoning, Internet Health information, Source evaluation
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Science Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151073DOI: 10.1007/s11165-017-9674-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151073DiVA: diva2:1171915
Available from: 2018-01-08 Created: 2018-01-08 Last updated: 2018-01-09

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Wiblom, JonnaRundgren, Carl-JohanAndrée, Maria
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