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ERIC Number: EJ825436
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 35
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7267
Location, Location, Location: Positioning Biotechnology Education for the 21st Century
France, Bev
Studies in Science Education, v43 n1 p88-122 2007
The first section of this article examines a range of definitions of biotechnology. This analysis demonstrates that teachers' choices will determine their view of biotechnology, as positioned along a traditional-modern, axis, and provides examples of the tensions that these differing positions create. A further section argues that in order for teachers to plan appropriate learning experiences they need to be aware of the way biotechnology education is perceived within the school curriculum. Biotechnology can be perceived as science or technology: the article provides some biotechnological examples which demonstrate this chameleon character. The consequences of such positioning decisions are explored in a range of international curricula. Other positioning decisions for teachers are then identified, through an analysis of the composition of the "public" for the field. A review of the research literature shows that perceptions of biotechnology education range from an emphasis on vocational outcomes, to the provision of knowledge and skills that allow participants to not only to critique the biotechnological enterprise, but also engage the emotional responses that biotechnology can engender. These interpretations of the field, and the ability to respond to the demands they make, will further affect how biotechnology contexts are used. Ultimately, the article stresses the complexity of the role of the teacher in providing an appropriate educational outcome. Teachers believe that they need appropriate up-to-date content resources. Such resources are available but are not always fully utilised, because appropriate positioning decisions have not been made. To realise biotechnology as a context for teaching modern science requires more than content resources. (Contains 2 tables and 23 notes.)
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: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand; United States