SCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGY KNOWLEDGE: SCIENCE TEACHERS OPINIONS FROM SPANISH SECONDARY SCHOOL
1 University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
2 Institut de Recerca Biomèdica (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Science and biotechnology allows us to develop products and processes that are beneficial to society. In the medical field with the development of new methodologies for the prevention of diseases; in the nutrition field with the production of modified transgenic plants for human and other animals food; in the agriculture field with the development of new products that insure less contamination.
In spite of these important roles, and many others, that science and biotechnology play in our society there is a negative opinion of both among the general public. In order to change this situation it is essential to improve the communication between the science community and the general public. The first and most important step to take is to improve science and biotechnology education in the secondary and high secondary schools, because all of these students will be the next future society.
We have found that the first in-depth questions of science and biotechnology are posed to teachers by young students, aged 12 to 16 years old, in Spanish compulsory secondary school and by students, aged 16 to 18 years old, in Spanish high secondary school. Questions are often related to genetic modification of organisms (GMO) such as corn, animal cloning such as Dolly the sheep, nuclear energy, ethical questions surrounding stem cells or contaminant substances. These are subjects that teachers frequently don’t have sufficient knowledge.
In an effort to analyze and more clearly understand the situation we prepared an opinion survey in science and biotechnology areas to be presented to science teachers in Spanish secondary education.
The first part of the surveys consisted of a few general questions about the educational background of the teachers. The second part consisted of questions regarding the science and biotechnology curriculum used in compulsory secondary school and high secondary school and students’ interest. And the third part asked to the teaching staff what curriculum changes is necessary to be made.
We feel this survey is only the starting point for science secondary school teachers, for educative authorities, for scientists, and for general public to increase the science and biotechnology enrichment.
Keywords: Science, improvement, teachers, students.