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A. Šorgo1, J. Ambrožič Dolinšek1, I. Tomažič2, F. Janžekovič1

1University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics (SLOVENIA)
2University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty (SLOVENIA)
Purpose of the study
Because biotechnology based on modification of genetic material will in positive or negative way change the quality of human life, educators must educate students about this issue. When teaching about genetic modifications a science teacher need to develop strategies not accompanied within traditional science teaching (Dawson and Venville, 2009; Dawson and Venville, 2010) and should include in teaching attitudes, emotions, moral and informal reasoning (Sadler and Zeidler, 2005a; Sadler and Zeidler, 2005b; Sadler and Fowler, 2006; Dawson and Venville, 2010). The purpose of such teaching is to help students to develop competences to evaluate risks and make decisions based on testable premises and scientifically sound reasoning and to build a society of scientific literate citizens.

Positive emotions are often a neglected factor in teaching (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Fredrickson 2001) even if they can positively affect knowledge acquisition and are constituent part of positive attitudes and function as internal signals to approach and continue.
Research question
In the present study we set out to discover possible role of interest and surprise triggered by different ways of using GMOs.

The sample comprised secondary school students and pre-service teachers. The questionnaire was administered in the year 2009 to secondary school students from the schools participating in the project “Development of Science Competences”, and to pre-service biology teachers and pre-service elementary teachers at the Universities of Maribor and Ljubljana (Slovenia). We ended with 564 valid cases: 341 (60.5%) from secondary schools and 223 (39.5%) from universities.

From the teaching standpoint is our studys’ discovery that students’ general interest, combined with surprise and joy could form a basis for teaching about GMOs. Additionally, our finding could provide the impetus toward inclusion of such topics in teaching, in order to raise student interest in Science and Science careers, which is declining globally. Additionally choosing balanced kinds of GMOs as a topic in teaching can be used to raise interest in science in both genders (Jones et al.,2000).