Should we ban single-use plastics? A role-playing game to argue and make decisions in a grade-8 school chemistry class
MetadataShow full item record
American Chemical Society
ABSTRACT: The social dimension of chemistry is relevant and present in numerous socioscientific issues, for example, the use of plastics. These issues can be covered at school by implementing strategies such as role-playing, which allow different perspectives to be understood, thereby helping to promote changes in attitude. This paper presents a pilotstudy about the design and results obtained in the role-playing game “Should we ban singleuse plastics?”, which covers the problem of plastics in a secondary school chemistry class by way of argumentation and decision making. Role-playing allows students to represent the viewpoints of different important actors in this area both in favor of a ban on their use (fisherman, environmental scientist, teenager, biodegradable material manufacturer) and against (manufacturer of disposable surgical products, teenager, worker in a plastic cutlery factory, director of an oil company). This role-playing was implemented virtually for a class of grade-8 school students (secondary schoolers in Spain). The main findings include the promotion of learning about the chemical aspects of plastics and the change in attitude of some students regarding this issue after preparing and using arguments and counterarguments based on scientific evidence in a debate. Role-playing is well received by students and helps them to experience positive emotions. Students were found to be very critical of the issue addressed, and the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to affect their decisions.