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Effects of a science education module on attitudes towards modern biotechnology of secondary school students

[journal article]

Klop, Tanja; Severiens, Sabine E.; Knippels, Marie-Christine; Mil, Marc Hubertus Wilhelmus van; TenDam, Geert T.M.

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Abstract This article evaluated the impact of a four-lesson science module on the attitudes of secondary school students. This science module (on cancer and modern biotechnology) utilises several design principles, related to a social constructivist perspective on learning. The expectation was that the module would help students become more articulate in this particular field. In a quasi-experimental design (experimental-, control groups and pre- and post-tests) secondary school students’ attitudes (N=365) towards modern biotechnology were measured by a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using chi-square tests. Significant differences were obtained between the control and experimental conditions. Results showed that the science module had a significant effect on attitudes, although predominantly towards a more supportive and not towards a more critical stance. It is discussed that offering a science module of this kind can indeed encourage students to become more aware of modern biotechnology, although promoting a more critical attitude towards modern biotechnology should receive more attention.
Classification Curriculum, Teaching, Didactics
Free Keywords secondary school; science education; scientific literacy; quantitative research; attitude towards biotechnology; quasi-experimental design
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 1127-1150
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 32 (2010) 9
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690902943665
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)