AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Techno-moral vignettes in socio-scientific issues-based education on synthetic biology

by A.M. Slegers

Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Year: 2014
Keywords: Design based research; Techno-moral vignettes; Opinion-forming; Citizenship education, Socio-scientific issues, Synthetic biology
Record ID: 1262624
Full text PDF: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/293033


Forming an opinion on developments in science and technology like synthetic biology and the issues (socio-scientific issues) that arise because of these developments is a skill people have to develop. A way of introducing these issues are techno-moral vignettes, or future scenarios. This study aimed to investigate if techno-moral vignette-related learning and teaching activities are a promising way to introduce synthetic biology-related socio-scientific issues in classroom settings to start up the opinion-forming process. To reach this goal a design based research approach was adopted to develop a lesson based on the first steps of the opinion-forming process for secondary education. The lesson was put into practice in two case studies, one class of senior general secondary level and one class of pre-university level. The techno-moral vignette ‘Mother’s day’ was used and students had to work on different assignments. This was combined with a questionnaire and interviews with students and the teacher to get more in-depth data. Results showed that the designed learning and teaching activities are a promising way of introducing synthetic biology-related socio-scientific issues, since different emotions, questions, values and beliefs were evoked. Most students were also able to deduce a dilemma from the vignette. It can be concluded that the designed techno-moral vignettes-related learning and teaching activities are appropriate in starting up the opinion-forming process on synthetic biology related socio-scientific issues. In this way science education can contribute to scientific literacy and citizenship education.