Strengthening science education through attention to student resources: A conceptualization of socioscientific capital

Lida T. Klaver*, Patrick H.M. Sins, Juliette H. Walma van der Molen, Laurence J.F. Guérin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


In this position paper, we introduce the concept of socioscientific capital (SSC) to denote students' resources that unequivocally play a part when students learn about and make decisions regarding socioscientific issues (SSIs). Students use a variety of resources when they engage with SSI. Our conceptualization of SSC expands on current conceptualizations to refer to resources related to both the scientific and the non-scientific aspects of SSI, including internal resources (personal experiences, values, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and skills), external resources (family, friends, communities, and media), and meta-level resources (dominant frames and cultures). Aiming to strengthen SSI education, we argue for taking into account how students' resources impact their SSI-related learning and decision-making. To this end, insight into students' SSC is needed and is imperative for teachers. By bringing together literature about SSI education and literature about students' resources, we provide a conceptual view on students' SSC and describe implications for SSI education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1192
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of research in science teaching
Issue number5
Early online date18 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Funds of knowledge
  • Science capital
  • Socioscientific capital
  • Socioscientific issues
  • SSI education
  • 2023 OA procedure

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