NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ808383
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Disconnections between Teacher Expectations and Student Confidence in Bioethics
Hanegan, Nikki L.; Price, Laura; Peterson, Jeremy
Science & Education, v17 n8-9 p921-940 Sep 2008
This study examines how student practice of scientific argumentation using socioscientific bioethics issues affects both teacher expectations of students' general performance and student confidence in their own work. When teachers use bioethical issues in the classroom students can gain not only biology content knowledge but also important decision-making skills. Learning bioethics through scientific argumentation gives students opportunities to express their ideas, formulate educated opinions and value others' viewpoints. Research has shown that science teachers' expectations of student success and knowledge directly influence student achievement and confidence levels. Our study analyzes pre-course and post-course surveys completed by students enrolled in a university level bioethics course (n = 111) and by faculty in the College of Biology and Agriculture faculty (n = 34) based on their perceptions of student confidence. Additionally, student data were collected from classroom observations and interviews. Data analysis showed a disconnect between faculty and students' perceptions of confidence for both knowledge and the use of science argumentation. Student reports of their confidence levels regarding various bioethical issues were higher than faculty reports. A further disconnect showed up between students' preferred learning styles and the general faculty's common teaching methods; students learned more by practicing scientific argumentation than listening to traditional lectures. Students who completed a bioethics course that included practice in scientific argumentation, significantly increased their confidence levels. This study suggests that professors' expectations and teaching styles influence student confidence levels in both knowledge and scientific argumentation.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A