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ERIC Number: EJ976516
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Multidimensional Analysis of High-School Students' Perceptions about Biotechnology
Fonseca, Maria Joao; Costa, Patricio; Lencastre, Leonor; Tavares, Fernando
Journal of Biological Education, v46 n3 p129-139 2012
Concerns about public understanding of biotechnology have motivated educational initiatives to improve students' competency to make scientifically sustained decisions regarding controversial issues. Understanding students' perceptions about biotechnology is essential to determine the effectiveness of these programmes. To assess how students' perceptions are modulated, this study evaluates education and gender effects on knowledge, attitudes, interest, and importance given to biotechnology. Following a quantitative assessment approach, a questionnaire was administered to 698 high-school students engaged in three curricular formats: science students attending biology ("n" = 225); non-biology science students ("n" = 210); and non-science students ("n" = 263). The outcomes of this study suggest that education is more determining than gender in shaping students' perceptions and behavioural intentions, which are modulated by cognitive, affective and motivational elements. Students, particularly from non-science courses, revealed knowledge and interest limitations, but acknowledged the importance of biotechnology. Most students demonstrated positive attitudes towards different applications, except when animal manipulation was involved. Positive correlations between knowledge, attitudes, interest and importance attributed to biotechnology were identified. The implications of these findings are discussed. (Contains 3 figures.)
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: Grade 12; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Portugal