|Genome Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues
DOE Human Genome Program Contractor-Grantee Workshop
Michael J. Dougherty and Joseph D. McInerney
Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), 5415 Mark Dabling Blvd., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918-3842
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) is developing an instructional module titled Genes, Environment, and Human Behavior for use in high school biology classes. The module will rectify the deficient treatment of the biology of behavior in the current curriculum and will help to dispel misconceptions about genes and human behavior that often pervade media reports of research in this area. The materials also will address some of the ethical, legal, and social issues generated by research into the biological basis of behavior and will help to change traditional assumptions about the teaching of genetics at the high school level. The draft instructional activities are designed to help students move through the following major concepts:
In May of 1998, BSCS field tested a complete draft of the module with 20 teachers and over 1200 students in 13 states. Students completed pre- and post-tests to determine common misconceptions about behavioral genetics and to assess changes in student learning after using the module. Statistical analysis of the data showed that students improved significantly on every learning outcome. In addition, mean pre-test scores of 56% correct improved to 71% correct on the post-tests (p < 0.001).
After analyzing the field-test data, BSCS hosted the second meeting of the project's advisory committee, which made a number of recommendations for improving the module. In late July 1998, BSCS completed its second and final writing conference, during which experts in behavioral and medical genetics, ethics, and high school biology teaching produced drafts of a revised module based on the recommendations of the advisory committee. BSCS staff are currently revising those drafts to produce final materials, which will comprise student activities, support materials for the teacher, and extensive background information for teachers. Following production and printing, BSCS will distribute the module free of charge to 20,000 interested biology teachers.
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