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pp. 6277-6302 | Article Number: ijese.2016.463
Published Online: August 28, 2016
Article Views: 1444 | Article Download: 1034
A value-centered approach to science, technology and society (STS) education illuminates the need of reflexive and relational learning through communication and public engagement. Visualization is a key to represent and compare mental models such as assumptions, background theories and value systems that tacitly shape our own understanding, interests and interactions. Yet conventional approaches including concept mapping and multi-criteria value elicitation methods often have little suggestion or implication as to how participants themselves can address and deliberate the incompatibility of their perceptions, preferences and perspectives. This study proposes Q workshop as a legitimate eliciting and deliberation technique that can be employed in pluralistic discourse, exploring systematic divergences of perspective by constructing the participant‘s self in a formative, emergent and contingent manner. For this it introduces Q mapping as a novel visualization tool for the hybridity of qualitative and quantitative methods derived from Q methodology. Q mapping is a two-factor solution that transforms the similarities in participants’ individual Q scores into distances represented in two-dimensional space, for the sake of illustrating the relative positioning and partitioning of perspectives in a schematic figure. A case study on STS education for postgraduate students demonstrates that Q workshop can play a heuristic and abductive role in providing independent illumination of distinguishable perspectives and facilitating individual and collective learning among participants, suggesting a schematic two-dimensional basis for resolving the key differences.
Keywords: Q methodology, reflexive learning, mental models, visualization, participatory works
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