ERIC Number: ED440877
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Inquiry, Discourse and Metacognition: Promoting Students' Learning in a Bioethical Context.
Conner, Lindsey N.
This research reports on interpretive and cognitive approaches that were used in a unit of work with a final year high school biology class. The aim of the intervention was to promote students' awareness and communication of the biological, social, and ethical issues associated with cancer. Students were encouraged to use an inquiry approach. They were also provided with opportunities to engage in open and critical discourses and develop independent learning skills through metacognitive behaviors. The students', teachers', and researcher's perspectives on aspects of the unit of work and learning were used to evaluate the approaches used. Small group discussions and peer checking of essay drafts, as well as reflective journal writing, were perceived by students to have developed their thinking about cancer issues. Some students reported that making the skills explicit for researching and writing their essays was very useful in the inquiry process. This investigation indicates that students must have procedural knowledge and be motivated to use it in order to enable more effective learning. Bioethical contexts explore the ethical issues and decision-making associated with the use of living organisms and medicine (Macer, 1994). In countries such as New Zealand, where there is strong economic reliance on biotechnologies, science curricula now include biotechnology. The associated ethics and social responsibilities linked with the use of new technologies are being seriously questioned by society (Van Rooy, 1994). This is reflected in "Biology in the New Zealand Curriculum" (Ministry of Education, 1994) where the aim of including bioethical issues is to provide opportunities for students to be prepared to respond to issues in adult life by giving them experience in discussing personal, social, and ethical aspects (Conner, in press). In a democratic society, where citizens are expected to be able to make autonomous decisions, the impacts of technology on society need to be explored and elaborated, so that a culture of informed citizenry develops (Solomon, 1993). (Contains 26 references.) (Author/ASK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand