ERIC Number: EJ1017283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
Lessons Learned from Undergraduate Students in Designing a Science-Based Course in Bioethics
Loike, John D.; Rush, Brittany S.; Schweber, Adam; Fischbach, Ruth L.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v12 n4 p701-710 Dec 2013
Columbia University offers two innovative undergraduate science-based bioethics courses for student majoring in biosciences and pre-health studies. The goals of these courses are to introduce future scientists and healthcare professionals to the ethical questions they will confront in their professional lives, thus enabling them to strategically address these bioethical dilemmas. These courses incorporate innovative pedagogical methods, case studies, and class discussions to stimulate the students to think creatively about bioethical issues emerging from new biotechnologies. At the end of each course, each student is required to submit a one-page strategy detailing how he or she would resolve a bioethical dilemma. Based on our experience in teaching these courses and on a qualitative analysis of the students' reflections, we offer recommendations for creating an undergraduate science-based course in bioethics. General recommendations include: 1) integrating the science of emerging biotechnologies, their ethical ramifications, and contemporary bioethical theories into interactive class sessions; 2) structuring discussion-based classes to stimulate students to consider the impact of their moral intuitions when grappling with bioethical issues; and 3) using specific actual and futuristic case studies to highlight bioethical issues and to help develop creative problem-solving skills. Such a course sparks students' interests in both science and ethics and helps them analyze bioethical challenges arising from emerging biotechnologies.
Descriptors: Biology, Ethics, Ethical Instruction, Science Instruction, Undergraduate Students, Curriculum Design, Courses, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Integrated Curriculum, Case Method (Teaching Technique), Problem Solving, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York