Discipline-Based Education Research Group


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Abstract for DBER Group Discussion on 2013‐04‐11


Copyright (c) 2013 T. Jack Morris & Lisa M. PytlikZillig


The increasing need for public input about ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) associated with science and technology implies a corresponding need for ethical education of students in the sciences. The changing goals of college biology courses further reflect growing awareness of such needs. What are the challenges associated with engaging science students—who may expect to focus only on “science” and not “ethics” issues—in such overarching discussions? In this presentation, we will discuss our design, implementation, and study of the use of ELSI deliberative activities in an introductory freshman‐level biology course across five semesters. First, we will describe the activities and their goals. Second, we will present results evidencing the impacts of these activities on, for example, student engagement, learning, and evidence for critical thinking about applications of science in society. Finally, we will discuss the challenges and lessons learned from including such activities in the curriculum based on our research and evaluation activities.