This article evaluated the impact of a four-lesson science module on the attitudes of secondary school students. This science module (on cancer and modern biotechnology) utilises several design principles, related to a social constructivist perspective on learning. The expectation was that the module would help students become more articulate in this particular field. In a quasi-experimental design (experimental-, control groups, and pre- and post-tests), secondary school students' attitudes (N = 365) towards modern biotechnology were measured by a questionnaire. Data were analysed using Chi-square tests. Significant differences were obtained between the control and experimental conditions. Results showed that the science module had a significant effect on attitudes, although predominantly towards a more supportive and not towards a more critical stance. It is discussed that offering a science module of this kind can indeed encourage students to become more aware of modern biotechnology, although promoting a more critical attitude towards modern biotechnology should receive more attention.

Attitudes, Attitudes towards biotechnology, Quasi-experimental design, Science education, Scientific literacy, Secondary school,
International Journal of Science Education
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Klop, T, Severiens, S.E, Knippels, M.-C.P.J, van Mil, M.H.W, & ten Dam, G. (2009). Effects of a science education module on attitudes towards modern biotechnology of secondary school students. International Journal of Science Education, 32(9), 1127–1150. doi:10.1080/09500690902943665