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ERIC Number: EJ1064809
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Values in Science: Making Sense of Biology Doctoral Students' Critical Examination of a Deterministic Claim in a Media Article
Raveendran, Aswathy; Chunawala, Sugra
Science Education, v99 n4 p669-695 Jul 2015
Several educators have emphasized that students need to understand science as a human endeavor that is not value free. In the exploratory study reported here, we investigated how doctoral students of biology understand the intersection of values and science in the context of genetic determinism. Deterministic research claims have been critiqued for their conceptual limitations as well as social implications. The study details the criteria used by 30 Indian students in their critical evaluation of a deterministic claim in a media article related to neurogenetics. Based on literature that discusses values in science, we categorize students' responses into those motivated by epistemic and ultimate values, and make some qualitative inferences regarding their value-loaded critical thinking. We find that students exhibit varying levels of sophistication while critiquing foundational assumptions of the fallacious claim with a few resorting to narrow, discipline-based frameworks. Students proposed linear cause-effect models of the genotype-phenotype relationship and drew on disciplinary knowledge that is elementary in nature when discussing this relationship. We also find that only a few students critiqued these claims from social and ethical perspectives. The implications and relevance of the study for biology education at the higher education level are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India