Science news stories in the media – old issues, new challenges and new opportunities for science preservice teacher education!

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Social media channels today are major (sometimes sole) sources of information for people. The escalating amount and access of science news stories is clearly significant for science education, as is the numbers of “fake science” reports. This creates challenges for school science, but also opens new opportunities. This paper offers starting points for future development of science preservice teacher education.
Media distortions of science have a long-term problem for science education, for example we briefly consider 1980s secondary school students’ views of fake science prominent at that time. Our prime focus is on contemporary secondary science preservice teachers’ views about/ experiences with sourcing and using science news stories during school placements. In 2018, 47 preservice teachers completed an online survey. Almost half had observed or taught with science news stories on placement, but only 3 observed critiquing of a science
news story. They were interested in why we are all susceptible to making quick decisions about news headlines. Preservice teachers strongly advocated the use of science news stories in teaching but also wanted to be more up to date about the issues, especially if they are controversial, and ways to help both them and their students to critique the stories.
Link to RISE paper:
Fensham, P. (1972). Prior knowledge: A source of negative factors for subsequent learning. Research in Science Education, 2, 50-57.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAustralasian Science Education Research Association Conference 2019 - Crowne Plaza Queenstown, Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration: 2 Jul 20195 Jul 2019
Conference number: 50th


ConferenceAustralasian Science Education Research Association Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleASERA 2019
CountryNew Zealand
Internet address


  • science news stories
  • science education
  • science preservice teacher education

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