How can bioethics be incorporated into biology curricula?
There are numerous methods that can be used to study bioethics, and numerous
places in traditional biology curricula where bioethics fits. The following
section offers some suggestions, but is not meant to be a comprehensive
- Case studies: These can be obtained from resources such as newspapers,
law journals or source books, or they can be fictional cases designed by
the teacher. Students may work on small groups, or discuss the case as
an entire class.
- Debate: Choose a statement to be debated and assign students a side
to argue. For example: "Resolved: genetic screening for the purposes
of sex selection should not be permitted."
- Panel Discussion: Identify the stakeholders in a particular issue and
have students represent these roles as members of a panel. Other students
question the panel about their views on the issue.
- Role Play: In order to prevent students from feeling vulnerable about
voicing their personal opinions, assign specific roles to students so that
they are voicing the opinions of their assigned role.
- Journal Article Writings: Have students write their thoughts down rather
than voicing them in class.
- Student-led Seminars: Small groups of students research a particular
topic and then lead a one or two day class discussion. Depending on the
magnitude of the topic, it may be necessary to spend one day teaching about
the technology involved, and a second day exploring the ethical questions.
Go Back to Teaching Bioethics
Go On to an Outline of the Process