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Opinion building in a socio-scientific issue: the case of genetically modified plants.
Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Mathematics, Technology and Science Education. (UMSER)
2008 (English)In: Journal of Biological Education, Vol. 42, no 2, 60-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents results from a study with the following research questions: (a) are pupils’ opinions on genetically

modified organisms (GMOs) influenced by biology teaching; and (b) what is important for the opinion pupils hold and

how does knowledge work together with other parameters such as values? 64 pupils in an upper secondary school

answered questionnaires, in which they expressed opinions and gave arguments on applications of GMOs, before and

after biology courses. The pupils’ knowledge of genetics and GMOs was also investigated. Eleven pupils were then interviewed

to examine their reasoning in more depth. More pupils were positive about genetically modified tomatoes after

the courses. Males were more positive than females. No correlation was found between knowledge of basic genetics

and opinion. Most of the pupils could express arguments for and against the applications but they built their personal

opinion on different arguments. An important concern was potential risks. Depending on risk judgement and/or how they

trusted scientists, the pupils came to different conclusions. Few had any idea of how the different applications are risk

assessed or how scientists work. Other important factors for decision-making were the purpose of the application, the

time perspective and feelings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 42, no 2, 60-65 p.
Keyword [en]
socio-scientific issues, geneticallu modified organisms, upper secondary school, opinions, biology education
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-10343OAI: diva2:150014
Available from: 2008-08-14 Created: 2008-08-14 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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