Overson Shumba, Alex Simpande


Social media and scientific sense-making serve a current and important interplay in the teacher education process. The aim of this study was to understand the application of scientific sense-making practices and competences on social media platforms through the use of the Social Media Use and Scientific Sense-Making (SMSM) questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed, adapted and administered via Google forms and contained three sections: Personal Use of Social Media, Scientific Sense-making and a modified three out of the twelve items from the “Scientific Sense-making Survey- Form B (Monkeys)” (Activation Lab, 2016). A total of 111 student teachers (fourth year and first year MSc students) took part in the survey. The results show that the most frequent and productive engagement is done on WhatsApp (96.4%) and Facebook (75.6%). Leisure activities (over 65%) dominate the use of social media, compared to sharing scientific, technological and environmental issues. In addition, the findings show that despite inconsistencies in perceived self-beliefs in competency, the student teachers have developed sufficient sceptical, questioning and evidence seeking practices. Lastly, there is a general consensus on items that demonstrate scientific sense-making.

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scientific sense-making, self-belief, social media, student teachers

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