New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Role-Playing as an Activity to Work on Students' Perceptions of Nuclear Energy and Risks

Enrique España-Ramos, University of Malaga (Spain)

Daniel Cebrián-Robles, University of Malaga (Spain)

Antonio-Joaquín Franco-Mariscal, University of Malaga (Spain)


The consumption of non-renewable energy and the energy crisis can be treated as a socio-scientific issue due to the ever-increasing demand for energy and the likely depletion of non-renewable fuels. Society must keep abreast of these issues, and preservice elementary science teachers (PESTs) in particular have to make an extra effort to understand and fix misconceptions about nuclear energy and balance its advantages and disadvantages as a source of energy. Some studies have highlighted numerous misconceptions of preservice students as regards their understanding of nuclear energy and its risks, whereas others have focussed on high school students and their perceptions. This paper presents a role-playing activity as part of a training programme in argumentation to reflect and raise awareness about the consumption of nuclear energy. A pre-test and a post-test were used to analyse the understanding and perception of nuclear energy of PESTs before and after the activity. The findings show that PESTs learn the basic concepts of nuclear energy by searching for evidence in order to be able to put forward good and reasoned arguments. One of the reasons for this was the need to defend their role's point of view about the acceptance or rejection of this energy source. This activity was performed without the participation of the teacher.

Keywords: Role-playing, pre-service, nuclear energy, perceptions, argumentation;


[1] Abas, N, Kalair, A, Khan, N. "Review of fossil fuels and future energy technologies", Futures, 2015, 69, 31–49.
[2] Fullan, M., Langworthy, M. "Towards a new end: New pedagogies for deep learning", Seattle, Creative Commons, 2013.
[3] Reis, P. “Promoting students’ collective socio-scientific activism. Teachers’ perspectives”, In J. Bencze, S. Alsop (Eds.) Activist Science and Technology Education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, Dordrecht, Springer, 2014, 547-574.
[4] Taebi, B, Roeser S. "The Ethics of Nuclear Energy", The Netherlands, Cambridge University Press, 2015.
[5] Yang, F-Y, Anderson, O.R. "Senior high school students’ preference and reasoning modes about nuclear energy use", International Journal of Science Education, 2003, 25, 221–244.
[6] Aubusson, P, Fogwill, S, Barr, R, Perkovic, L. "What happens when students do simulation-role-play in science?, Research in Science Education, 1997, 27, 565–579.
[7] Simonneaux, L. "Argumentation in socio-scientific contexts", In: S. Erduran (Ed.) Argumentation in science education: perspectives from classroom-based research, Dordrecht, Springer, 2008, 179–199.
[8] Simonneaux, L. "Cómo favorecer la argumentación sobre las biotecnologías entre el alumnado", Alambique, 2000, 25, 27–44.
[9] España-Ramos E., Rueda-Serón, J.A., Blanco-López, A. "Juegos de rol sobre el calentamiento global. Actividades de enseñanza realizadas por estudiantes de ciencias del Máster en Profesorado de Secundaria", Revista Eureka sobre Enseñanza y Divulgación de las Ciencias, 2013, 10, 763–79.
[10] Simonneaux, L. "Role-play or debate to promote students’ argumentation and justification on an issue in animal transgenesis", International Journal of Science Education, 2001, 23, 903–27.
[11] McSharry, G, Jones, S. "Role-play in science teaching and learning", The School Science Review, 2000, 82, 73–82.
[12] Evagorou, M, Osborne, J. "Exploring young students’ collaborative argumentation within a socioscientific issue", Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 2013, 50, 209–37.
[13] Cebrián-Robles, D., Franco-Mariscal, A.J., Blanco, A. "Preservice Elementary Science Teachers’ Argumentation Competence: Impact of a Training Programme", Instructional Science, 2018.


Back to the list


Reserved area

Media Partners:

Click BrownWalker Press logo for the International Academic and Industry Conference Event Calendar announcing scientific, academic and industry gatherings, online events, call for papers and journal articles
Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2024 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy