NIH SCIENCE EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP AWARDS

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Collaborations to Advance Understanding Science and Ethics (CAUSE)

Grant Website

http://nwabr.org/content/science-education-partnership-award

Audience

Secondary school (7-12) students and teachers

Subjects Addressed

Bioethics (including stem cells, HIV/global health)

Project Description

This program forges a partnership among scientists, ethicists, and educators in order to prepare students to explore social and ethical questions surrounding biomedical research and to help students consider how these questions will influence their lives. Our primary goals are to increase public understanding of: 1) ethics and its relation to science, in order to foster discourse based on thoughtful analysis and critical reasoning; 2) the nature of biomedical research, particularly with respect to the role of study design, scientific models, and clinical trials. The program addresses these goals by developing specific resources for secondary science teachers (including an Ethics Primer plus curriculum units on HIV vaccines, stem cells, and genetic testing) and by providing professional development for teachers in the use of these resources.

Resources for Sharing

1) Ethics Primer. The Ethics Primer provides engaging, interactive, classroom-friendly lesson ideas for integrating elements of critical reasoning about ethical issues into a science classroom. It also provides a conceptual framework for understanding ethics as a discipline, with straightforward descriptions of major ethical theories and decision-making frameworks. 2) Curriculum Unit - The Science and Ethics of HIV Vaccine Clinical Trials. This curriculum unit focuses on the science of the HIV virus, the research process that targets vaccine development, and the important ethical guidelines that govern research. 3) Curriculum Unit - The Science and Ethics of Stem Cells. This unit helps clarify the various dimensions of stem cell research - ethical, legal, social, and scientific. 4) Speaker Training Manual for Scientists. This manual serves as a resource for scientists who wish to communicate more effectively about the ethical use of animals in research.

Dissemination Strategies

1) Online Ethics and Science distance-learning course for secondary science teachers featuring elements from the Ethics Primer as well as the `Ethics in the Science Classroom- intensive professional development program. 2) Expanded professional development and leadership opportunities for teachers both locally and nationally, including a `Leaders Institute- for past program participants and workshops offered in collaboration with the States United for Biomedical Research network. 3) Distribution of resources through web-based networks and teacher professional conferences.

Abstract

UW and the Washington Association for Biomedical Research (WABR) seek three years of funding for 'Collaborations to Advance Understanding Science and Ethics' (CAUSE). The CAUSE partners aim to develop educational resources to support the teaching of bioethics at the secondary science school level, including: three bioethics curriculum units and one modular ethics primer, a series of summer professional in-services for secondary educators related to the classroom use of the units, and additional training and written materials to promote leadership and provide professional development strategies for science teachers. The CAUSE materials will use real-life scenarios and case study approaches in order to teach science content and address the complex and sensitive ethical issues raised by biomedical research. Through integration of science and ethics, teachers will empower their students to develop critical skills needed to question, research, and challenge the information they receive. Proposed curriculum units will focus on the ethics of recombinant DNA research, stem cells and organ transplantation, and human clinical trials. Lastly, the CAUSE program will promote the development of an ethics component to the successful Speakers' Bureau managed by WABR. Together, the CAUSE partners intend to create continuing opportunities for scientists and educators to work together in preparing all students to become thoughtful, responsible, and informed citizens.

Evaluation(s)

Research into Student Learning - Dr. Mark Windschitl, CAUSE Co-Principal Investigator and Chair of Curriculum and Instruction in the UW School of Education, conducted a research study into student learning to investigate how our work impacted student learning, including the degree to which students understand ethical issues and the scientific content within which ethical issues are situated.

Design/Instruments Used/Data Collected - Pre/post tests, interviews with students and teachers, video/audiotape, analysis of student work, site observations

Results - When students lacked familiarity with the science behind an issue with ethical implications, they were hindered in their analysis of the issue and coming to a conclusion. Another finding validated our concern that teachers use some form of structured approach to ethical decision-making to provide a scaffold (such as a Decision-Making Framework) for students' attempts at making sense of complex issues. We also found that weaving ethical discourse in throughout multiple units gives students a chance to apply their growing understandings to new areas. External evaluation centered our primary professional development strategy, the residential, week-long Ethics in the Science Classroom (ESC) workshop. Assessment looked at the effects of participating in the ESC Workshop and at the impacts on lead teachers/curriculum developers. The data show statistically significant gains in teacher's perceived understanding of ethics and its relationship to scientific research following the workshop. Also, teachers perceived that they are more prepared to use pedagogical practices related to ethics in science, and are more willing to use them, following their CAUSE professional development experience. They sustained this level of self-reported change through the end of the following school year.

Collaborations to Advance Understanding Science and Ethics (CAUSE) /grants/collaborations-advance-understanding-science-and-ethics-cause 116 R25RR016284 0 2 WA 2003 09/30/2003 08/31/2006 University of Washington Box 357266 
Seattle WA 98195 School of Nursing, Dept of Biobehavioral Nursing PI CUNNINGHAM SUSANNA PhD, RN (206) 616-1963 (206) 543-4771 susannac@u.washington.edu OTHER CONTACT CHOWNING JEANNE MS (206) 957-3337 ext 303 jchowning@nwabr.org OTHER CONTACT WINDSCHITL MARCH mwind@u.washington.edu OTHER CONTACT ADLER SUSAN (206) 957-3337 ext 302 susan@nwabr.org http://nwabr.org/content/science-education-partnership-award https://www.nwabr.org/content/science-education-partnership-award

Secondary school (7-12) students and teachers

Bioethics (including stem cells, HIV/global health)

This program forges a partnership among scientists, ethicists, and educators in order to prepare students to explore social and ethical questions surrounding biomedical research and to help students consider how these questions will influence their lives. Our primary goals are to increase public understanding of: 1) ethics and its relation to science, in order to foster discourse based on thoughtful analysis and critical reasoning; 2) the nature of biomedical research, particularly with respect to the role of study design, scientific models, and clinical trials. The program addresses these goals by developing specific resources for secondary science teachers (including an Ethics Primer plus curriculum units on HIV vaccines, stem cells, and genetic testing) and by providing professional development for teachers in the use of these resources.

1) Ethics Primer. The Ethics Primer provides engaging, interactive, classroom-friendly lesson ideas for integrating elements of critical reasoning about ethical issues into a science classroom. It also provides a conceptual framework for understanding ethics as a discipline, with straightforward descriptions of major ethical theories and decision-making frameworks. 2) Curriculum Unit - The Science and Ethics of HIV Vaccine Clinical Trials. This curriculum unit focuses on the science of the HIV virus, the research process that targets vaccine development, and the important ethical guidelines that govern research. 3) Curriculum Unit - The Science and Ethics of Stem Cells. This unit helps clarify the various dimensions of stem cell research - ethical, legal, social, and scientific. 4) Speaker Training Manual for Scientists. This manual serves as a resource for scientists who wish to communicate more effectively about the ethical use of animals in research.

1) Online Ethics and Science distance-learning course for secondary science teachers featuring elements from the Ethics Primer as well as the `Ethics in the Science Classroom- intensive professional development program. 2) Expanded professional development and leadership opportunities for teachers both locally and nationally, including a `Leaders Institute- for past program participants and workshops offered in collaboration with the States United for Biomedical Research network. 3) Distribution of resources through web-based networks and teacher professional conferences.

UW and the Washington Association for Biomedical Research (WABR) seek three years of funding for 'Collaborations to Advance Understanding Science and Ethics' (CAUSE). The CAUSE partners aim to develop educational resources to support the teaching of bioethics at the secondary science school level, including: three bioethics curriculum units and one modular ethics primer, a series of summer professional in-services for secondary educators related to the classroom use of the units, and additional training and written materials to promote leadership and provide professional development strategies for science teachers. The CAUSE materials will use real-life scenarios and case study approaches in order to teach science content and address the complex and sensitive ethical issues raised by biomedical research. Through integration of science and ethics, teachers will empower their students to develop critical skills needed to question, research, and challenge the information they receive. Proposed curriculum units will focus on the ethics of recombinant DNA research, stem cells and organ transplantation, and human clinical trials. Lastly, the CAUSE program will promote the development of an ethics component to the successful Speakers' Bureau managed by WABR. Together, the CAUSE partners intend to create continuing opportunities for scientists and educators to work together in preparing all students to become thoughtful, responsible, and informed citizens.

This information was gathered at the 2008 SEPA Project Directors Meeting.

Research into Student Learning - Dr. Mark Windschitl, CAUSE Co-Principal Investigator and Chair of Curriculum and Instruction in the UW School of Education, conducted a research study into student learning to investigate how our work impacted student learning, including the degree to which students understand ethical issues and the scientific content within which ethical issues are situated.

Design/Instruments Used/Data Collected - Pre/post tests, interviews with students and teachers, video/audiotape, analysis of student work, site observations

Results - When students lacked familiarity with the science behind an issue with ethical implications, they were hindered in their analysis of the issue and coming to a conclusion. Another finding validated our concern that teachers use some form of structured approach to ethical decision-making to provide a scaffold (such as a Decision-Making Framework) for students' attempts at making sense of complex issues. We also found that weaving ethical discourse in throughout multiple units gives students a chance to apply their growing understandings to new areas. External evaluation centered our primary professional development strategy, the residential, week-long Ethics in the Science Classroom (ESC) workshop. Assessment looked at the effects of participating in the ESC Workshop and at the impacts on lead teachers/curriculum developers. The data show statistically significant gains in teacher's perceived understanding of ethics and its relationship to scientific research following the workshop. Also, teachers perceived that they are more prepared to use pedagogical practices related to ethics in science, and are more willing to use them, following their CAUSE professional development experience. They sustained this level of self-reported change through the end of the following school year.

curriculum; ethics; bioethics; middle school; high school; HIV; AIDS; Stem cells; science and society; professional development, biology