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ERIC Number: EJ835773
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1479-7860
Attitudes to Teaching Ethics to Bioscience Students: An Interview-Based Study Comparing British and American University Teachers
Bryant, John A.; Morgan, Cindy L.
Bioscience Education e-Journal, v9 Article 3 Jun 2007
An interview-based survey was carried out with British and American university teachers. In both countries there was widespread (but in the UK, not unanimous) support for the proposition that ethics should be taught to Bioscience students. Reasons included a need to help students engage with the ethical issues associated with their subject and the view that ethics courses would enhance graduates' transferable skills and make them better citizens. Nearly all respondents suggested that ethical theory/moral philosophy should be included in ethics/bioethics courses for Bioscience students but there differences between the USA and the UK in views about who should teach it. In the USA the majority view was that ethics teaching should be left to those with a training or qualification in ethics or related areas while in the UK there was more confidence that biologists could teach this material. Finally, despite the positive attitude in the USA to teaching ethics to Bioscience students, such courses were not a specific requirement in any of the universities represented in the survey; however, American respondents noted that ethics or bioethics courses may be available as options while some courses within Biology dealt with the ethical issues that arose in those courses. Even in the UK, where pressure to teach ethics/bioethics to Bioscience students arises from the QAA benchmark statements, provision of such teaching is still not universal and based on responses given in this survey, is not likely to become so. (Contains 3 tables.)
Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy. Room 9.15, Worsley Building, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT United Kingdom. Tel: +44-113-343-3001; Fax: +44-113-343-5894; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United States