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Education through fiction: acquiring opinion-forming skills in the context of genomics


Knippels, Marie-Christine; Severiens, Sabine E.; Klop, Tanja


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Abstract This study examined the outcomes of a newly designed four-lesson science module on opinion-forming in the context of genomics in upper secondary education. The lesson plan aims to foster sixteen-year-old students’ opinion-forming skills in the context of genomics and to test the effect of the use of fiction in the module. The basic hypothesis tested in this study is whether fiction stimulates students to develop opinions with regard to socio-scientific issues. A quasi-experimental pre- and post-test design was used, involving two treatment groups and one control group. One of the experimental groups received a science module incorporating movie clips (i.e. the movie group). The other experimental group received the same science module, however, only news report clips were used (i.e. the news report group). Prior to and after the module, 266 secondary school students completed a questionnaire to test their opinion-forming skills. The results demonstrate that the science module had a significant positive effect on students’ opinion-forming skills and that the movie group improved their skills more compared to the news report group. It may be concluded that the use of fiction, to be more specific movie clips about genomics extracted from feature films, to introduce a socio-scientific issue in the classroom stimulates students to develop their opinion-forming skills.
Klassifikation Unterricht, Didaktik
Publikationsjahr 2009
Seitenangabe S. 2057-2083
Zeitschriftentitel International Journal of Science Education, 31 (2009) 15
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690802345888
Status Postprint; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)