Opinion building in a socio-scientific issue: the case of genetically modified plants.

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Opinion building in a socio-scientific issue: the case of genetically modified plants.

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Opinion building in a socio-scientific issue: the case of genetically modified plants.
Author(s) Ekborg, Margareta
Date 2008
English abstract
This paper presents results from a study with the following research questions: • Are pupils’ opinions on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) influenced by biology teaching? • What is important for the opinion pupils hold and how does knowledge work together with other parameters such as values? 64 pupils in an upper secondary school answered questionnaires, in which they expressed opinions and gave arguments on applications of GMOs, before and after biology courses. The pupils’ knowledge of genetics and GMOs was also investigated. Eleven pupils were then interviewed in order to go into argumentation in more depth. More pupils were positive about genetically modified tomatoes after the courses. Males were more positive than females. No correlation was found between knowledge of basic genetics and opinion. Most of the pupils could express arguments for and against the applications but they built their personal opinion on different arguments. An important concern was potential risks. Depending on risk judgement and/or how they trusted scientists, the pupils came to different opinions. Few had any idea of how the different applications are risk assessed or how scientists work. Other important factors for decision-making were the purpose of the application, the time perspective and feelings.
Publisher Institute of Education, University of London.
Host/Issue Biology in Context: Learning and teaching for the 21st centuary
Pages 113-125
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) upper secondary school
decision mmaking
Humanities/Social Sciences
Socio-scientific issues
science education
GMO
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/8760 (link to this page)

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