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ERIC Number: EJ866583
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Lenses for Framing Decisions: Undergraduates' Decision Making about Stem Cell Research
Halverson, Kristy Lynn; Siegel, Marcelle A.; Freyermuth, Sharyn K.
International Journal of Science Education, v31 n9 p1249-1268 Jun 2009
Decision making is influenced by multiple factors, especially when approaching controversial socio-scientific issues, such as stem cell research. In the present study, we used qualitative data from 132 college student papers in a biotechnology course to investigate how students made decisions about stem cell research issues. Students indicated their opinion about stem cell research topics and argued their stance using evidence they deemed relevant. We used NVivo7 software to develop categories, code student responses, and run queries. We identified a continuum of positions that students took regarding the support or opposition of stem cell research, and we found students used eight different perspectives as lenses to form their decisions: medical application, ethical, rights, economic, religious, personal anecdotes, political, or scientific. The most common perspective was "medical application". Most students relied upon multiple perspectives when making their decisions. We found that when students used multiple viewpoints, the perspectives were unequally valued, generally relying more on ethical perspectives. Scientific perspectives were not common. These findings have implications for improving instruction by focusing the curriculum toward integrating scientific perspectives with non-scientific perspectives held. (Contains 1 figure and 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A