ERIC Number: ED475162
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Mar-23
Weighing in on Genetic Engineering and Morality: Students Reveal Their Ideas, Expectations, and Reservations.
Sadler, Troy D.; Zeidler, Dana L.
The ability to negotiate and resolve socioscientific issues has been posited as integral components of scientific literacy. Although philosophers and science educators have argued that socioscientific issues inherently involve moral and ethical considerations, the ultimate arbiters of morality are individual decision-makers. This study explored the extent to which college students construe genetic engineering issues as moral problems. Twenty college students participated in interviews designed to elicit their ideas, reactions, and feelings regarding a series of gene therapy and cloning scenarios. Qualitative analyses revealed that moral considerations were significant influences on decision-making indicating a tendency for students to construe genetic engineering issues as well as the application of principles. Issue construal was considerations, a series of other factors emerged as important dimensions of socioscientific decision-making. These factors included personal experiences, family biases, background knowledge, and the impact of popular culture. The implications for classroom science instruction and future research are discussed. (Contains 15 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (Philadelphia, PA, March 23-36, 2003).