Chinese biology teachers’ ethical reasoning patterns on the applications of assisted reproductive technologies

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Increasing emphasis has been placed on the use of socio-scientific issues (SSI) as the contexts for school science education in recent years. In order to implement a more effective SSI-based instruction, it is essential for science teachers themselves to have adequate ethical reasoning skills regarding SSIs. Hence, this study aimed to investigate Chinese high school biology teachers’ attitudes towards and ethical reasoning on the bioethical issue of assisted reproductive technology (ART). A survey was conducted with 59 high school biology teachers in Zhejiang province, Mainland China. Among the 59 participants, 20 are male teachers and 39 are female teachers. Nearly 50 % of the participants had a teaching experience of more than 10 years. An open-ended questionnaire was adopted as the main instrument for data collection in this study. The question was modified based on the instrument used in the international-level study of Macer (1994). This question required the participants to firstly make moral judgments on the use of ART in five situations (with sperm donation, with egg donation, include cryopreservation of embryos, involve surrogate mother, and the normal situation) and then provide with proper justifications. The four ethical frameworks (utilitarianism, rights and duties, autonomy and Virtue values) by Reiss (2008) were applied to analyze the patterns of the participants’ ethical reasoning on the ART. The findings indicated that the participants were relatively negative on the applications of this biotechnology with involving donated sperms, surrogacy and cryopreservation of embryos. The traditional Chinese ethical perspectives may contribute to such an attitude trend. This study also found that the participants used the utilitarian ethical frameworks more often than the other three frameworks of autonomy, rights and duties, and virtue ethics. The implications of this study are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Citation

Chen, Y., & So, W. M. (2016, August). Chinese biology teachers’ ethical reasoning patterns on the applications of assisted reproductive technologies. Paper presented at the 2016 International Conference of East-Asian Association for Science Education (EASE 2016): Innovations in Science Education Research & Practice: Strengthening International Collaboration, Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo, Japan.

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