I. Koc, M. Kuvac

Istanbul University (TURKEY)
Public opinions and attitudes toward emerging biotechnology play a crucial role in determining the probability of development and implementation of this technology and its applications such as genetically modified organisms. Educational institutions play an important role in the creating awareness related to the biotechnology besides media. In particular, science teachers have a responsibility to inform their students in a sound way of the scientific and technical aspects of biotechnology and to qualify them as the decision makers of the future to cope in a reasoned way with the chances and the risks of biotechnology (Harms, 2002). Therefore, teachers’ perceptions and attitudes toward genetically modified organisms are very important as these directly affect students’ perceptions and attitudes.

On the other hand, the developments occurring in the science and technology day by day increase the requirement of individuals having higher order thinking skills. In order to move students toward higher order thinking, teachers should provide active learning environments and use appropriate instructional strategies and assessment techniques. In specific, Limbach and Waugh stated that teachers should use questioning techniques to encourage students’ higher order thinking skills. Clasen and Bonk (1990) also stated that teacher questions have the greatest impact on student higher order thinking skills.

In this case, the purpose of this research was to analyze preservice science teachers’ questioning skills about genetically modified organisms according to Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. The research was conducted with 160 preservice science teachers from Istanbul University, during 2011-2013 academic years. This research was carried out in scope of Special Topics in Biology course and for the data collection, preservice science teachers were requested to prepare questions about genetically modified organisms before the topic is discussed in the class. The qualitative research method was utilized in this research. Data were analyzed with the content analysis technique using Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives. According to results, the majority of preservice science teachers’ questions revealed lower-order cognitive skills (63.64 %). In addition, most of the questions in cognitive process dimension required understand (56.36 %) and in knowledge dimension required factual knowledge (72.73 %). Overall, the results indicate that more consideration be given to improve preservice science teachers’ questioning skills.

[1] Clasen, D. R., & Bonk, C. (1990). Teachers tackle thinking. Madison, WI: Madison Education Extension Program.
[2] Harms, U. (2002). Biotechnology education in schools. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, 5(3), 5-6.
[3] Limbach, B., & Waugh, W. (2010). Developing higher level thinking, 3. Retrieved 8 May 2014 from