Socioscientific issues, which are defined as open-ended controversial issues lacking clear-cut solutions, have been considered vital to raise scientifically literate citizens and informed citizenship. Teaching socioscientific issues has been reported to increase individuals’ understanding of science, interest towards science, and foster them to participate in societal decision making processes. Therefore, education systems need to incorporate these issues into science education programs so that students have the skills to resolve controversial societal issues in their future years. To this end, science teachers should have the qualifications to teach those issues. In this study, as one of the most debatable issues, genetically modified foods was chosen as SSI and preservice science teachers’ knowledge levels and risk-benefit perceptions were aimed to explore. Moreover, the relations among these two variables were examined. GM Foods Risk-Benefit Perceptions Scale and GM Foods Knowledge Scale were used to collect data. GM Foods Risk-Benefit Perceptions Scale included 25 items in 5-point Likert type. GM Foods Knowledge Scale included 17 items and the participants were expected to answer the items by selecting true, false, or do not know options. The instruments were administered in Turkish. In total, 120 PSTs across different grade levels participated to the study. The descriptive and relational analysis regarding PSTs’ knowledge and risk-benefit perceptions regarding GM foods would contribute to science teacher education programs.
*This study was supported by Ahi Evran University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit. Project Number: EGT.A4.17.021