Socio-Scientific Issues as Contexts for the Development of STEM Literacy

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Handbook of Research on STEM Education



In this chapter, we make a case for the potential of socio-scientific issues (SSI) to serve as meaningful learning contexts for holistic STEM integration and the development of STEM literacy for all citizens. Then, we discuss the history of SSI in science education, highlight the importance of non-STEM considerations in technology, engineering, and mathematics, and provide an example of STEM integration using genetic modification as the SSI context. We conclude by discussing barriers that must be overcome if the potential for effective integrated STEM instruction in the context of SSI is to be realized and offer direction for future research.