|Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Section
DOE Human Genome Program Contractor-Grantee
128. Genes, Environment, and Human Behavior: A Curriculum Module
Mark V. Bloom1, Rodger W. Bybee1, Michael J. Dougherty2, and Joseph D. McInerney3
1Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), Colorado Springs, CO 80918-3842; 2Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943; and 3Foundation for Genetic Education and Counseling, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Genes, Environment, and Human Behavior is a curriculum module designed for high school biology classes. It specifically addresses the roles of nature and nurture in human behavior. Developed by BSCS, a nonprofit curriculum development group, the module uses an inquiry-based approach that also provides well-structured and civil classroom analyses of ELSI-related issues. The curriculum is the fourth genome module produced by BSCS and is provided to teachers at no cost.
Students using the module should be familiar with Mendelian genetics, the chromosome theory of inheritance (including genetic linkage and recombination), the chemical nature of the gene (including the structure of DNA), and the central dogma, which states that genetic information resides in DNA, passes through an RNA intermediate, and is ultimately expressed as protein.
Designed for five periods of classroom instruction, the module consists of five student activities and includes extensive teacher background material. The student activities are organized into a conceptual whole that introduces students to the meaning of human behavior, to types of variation in populations, to the study of behavioral genetics, and then to the methodology for isolating genes that influence behavior. The first activity involves distinguishing between simple Mendelian traits and polygenic traits. The second activity builds on the first, and helps students understand multifactorial traits, The third activity introduces the use of twin studies in behavioral genetics, while the fourth activity demonstrates the use of association studies in the quest to locate genes influencing behavior. The concluding activity is a role-playing exercise that lets students use what they have learned to assess the wisdom of using genetic knowledge to formulate social policy.
|The online presentation of this publication is a special feature of the Human Genome Project Information Web site.|