pp. 177-186 in Bioethics for the People by the People, Darryl R. J. Macer, Ph.D., Eubios Ethics Institute 1994.

Copyright 1994, Darryl R. J. Macer. All commercial rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced for limited educational or academic use, however please enquire with Eubios Ethics Institute.

Bioethics in High Schools in New Zealand, Australia & Japan

Darryl Macer, Yukiko Asada, Shiro Akiyama & Miho Tsuzuki

Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, JAPAN


Note: an extended report of this survey, together with the full list of open comments is available in English and Japanese: Darryl R.J. Macer, Yukiko Asada, Miho Tsuzuki, Shiro Akiyama, and Nobuko Y. Macer "High School Teaching of Bioethics in New Zealand, Australia, and Japan" (Eubios Ethics Institute, 1996). The tables in this paper have been updated from that paper; together with some of the comments.

Education of decision-making is essential for the future bioethical maturation of society, for a world where persons have increasingly more decisions to make. In all countries of the International Bioethics Survey there is 90+% support for including discussion of social issues associated with science and technology in school, so that students can participate in contemporary debates (Q1e, p. 188-189). A previous survey conducted in Japan in 1991 (Macer, 1992) indicated that there is a strong consensus for the inclusion of discussion of the ethical, social and environmental issues associated with genetic engineering in school and university curriculum. From comparison to a survey in New Zealand (Couchman & Fink-Jensen, 1990), there appeared to be significantly less discussion of the social, ethical and environmental issues associated with genetic engineering in Japanese high schools than there is in New Zealand. A comparative survey was therefore conducted, including Australia, to initiate long term research on the development of bioethics education in these three countries, with the hope for further international cooperation.

The questionnaires of 1991 (Macer, 1992) were further developed in English and Japanese. Other areas of science and biotechnology were included, including animal experiments, in vitro fertilisation and prenatal diagnosis. Questions on teaching materials were added, and the survey was extended to include social studies teachers, not only biology and science teachers. Some questions were used from the International Bioethics Survey in order to allow comparisons to public and student views, and the results of these common questions are in the general data tables from the International Bioethics Survey (p. 186-215). Results of some additional questions on teaching are in this paper, but further analysis of the surveys and the followup will be published later. This paper is intended to present some of the general findings, which together with the questionnaire, may be useful to developing research on this theme in other countries.


Samples

Questionnaires (p. 249-255) printed on three double-sided A4 sheets plus covering letters were sent to the high school principals, requesting them to give one to a biology teacher and the other one to a social studies teacher. Return stamped address envelopes were included, and they were posted inside the countries. The sample numbers and responses rates per total teachers are in Table 1.

About 20-25% of the schools in Japan (1500) were chosen combining a random selection from the total high school list of the Ministry of Education (N=1172) and the schools that replied to the survey of biology teachers in 1991 (N=228). The surveys were sent in early July 1993. Reminders were sent to those schools that had not replied after two months, which increased the response rate about 5%. The response rate from biology teachers was 40%, which is not too bad given the additional length of the questionnaire, compared to a response of 45% in 1991. 88 biology teachers replied from the old schools and 472 from new schools; and 61 social studies teachers who replied were from the old schools.

All the 338 high schools in New Zealand were sent questionnaires in August 1993 using the Ministry of Education school list, and those schools with more than 1000 students were sent four questionnaires. In Australia, 500 schools first selected from a list of schools available to foreign students and telephone books, were surveyed in August. A further 28 public schools were surveyed in November with the kind cooperation of the Australian Capital Territory Department of Education and Training, who sent an approval letter and list of schools. The response rate with the approval letter was not significantly different. The response rate from biology teachers was higher than the social studies teachers in both cases. In 1990, a response rate of 65% was obtained using a reminder and school price incentive in new Zealand, whereas we sent no reminder. In South Australia a very short survey of school bioethics teaching obtained a 65% response rate, using a telephone call as a reminder - so the response rates obtained in this survey were quite satisfactory. Some principals wrote supporting letters, while some said it was not school policy to reply to surveys, and several Australian ones suggested seeking state Education Department approval to conduct surveys of schools.

The sample characteristics are in Table 3 (p. 188-189) of the general data tables in this book. In New Zealand, 18% of responses were from Auckland, 9% from Wellington, 39% from the rest of the North Island, 10% from Christchurch, 2% from Dunedin, and 17% from the rest of the South Island, with 5% not stating their address. In Australia, 6% were from Australian Capital Territory, 23% from New South Wales, 3% from Northern Territory, 19% from Queensland, 9% from South Australia, 6% from Tasmania, 26% from Victoria, and 7% from Western Australia. In Japan the number of biology and social studies teacher respondents, respectively, from each prefecture were: Tokyo (21,15), Gifu (14,8), Shiga (6,4), Kyoto (11,6), Osaka (12,11), Aichi (29,16), Gumma (12,9), Chiba (15,9), Saitama (17,11), Tochigi (12,11), Fukushima (14,11), Miyagi (21,10), Iwate (7,7), Aomori (14,13), Hokkaido (21,23), Akita (9,8), Yamagata (11,9), Niigata (9,12), Nagano (12,11), Toyama (16,6), Ishikawa (10,5), Fukui (7,6), Hyogo (23,10), Tottori (4,3), Okayama (7,7), Shimane (2,2), Hiroshima (16,6), Yamaguchi (9,7), Ehime (7,6), Koichi (6,3), Kagawa (6,5), Tokushima (5,3), Hukuoka (10,6), Saga (7,6), Nagasaki (10,4), Oita (4,6), Kumamoto (10,4), Miyazaki (5,4), Kagoshima (12,9), Wakayama (8,1), Nara (7,6), Mie (14,13), Shizuoka (21,10), Yamanashi (8,5), Kanagawa (28,16), Okinawa (7,2), Ibaraki (9,10), unknown (14,7). These sample distributions are nationally representative.


Table 1: School and teacher characteristics (%'s)
Abbreviations used in all tables: NZ=New Zealand; A=Australia; J=Japan; b=biology teacher; s=social teacher

Columns across the page: NZb NZs Ab As Jb Js
Number of respondents (N) 206 96 251 114 560 383
Response rate (%) 55 26 48 22 40 27

School characteristics
School size: <200 6.3 7.5 3.6 5.2 4.9 7.4
School size: <600 26.2 25.5 42.9 34.8 20.1 16.6
School size:<1500 61.2 60.6 51.2 54.8 67.3 68.7
School size:>1500 6.3 6.4 2.4 5.2 7.7 7.4
Location: Urban Public 60.4 63.8 13.5 14.9 48.6 45.1
Location:Urban Private 9.4 9.6 61.9 64.9 15.7 18.2
Location: Rural Public 28.7 24.5 0.8 0.9 31.5 33.0
Location:Rural Private 1.5 2.1 23.8 19.3 4.2 3.7

Teacher characteristics
The main subject the teachers taught (%)
Biology 71 0 59 0 79 0
Science 28 0 27 0 30 0
Social / Ethics 0 47 0 39 0.4 98
Geography 0 50 0 30 - -
Many / Other 1.5 3 14 31 1 2

Average age (years) 40.8 42.5 41.8 42.0 40.7 40.0
% female 36 38 52 37 12 8
% married 83 86 79 70 77 75
% who have children 78 85 76 76 70 72
Education:
Graduate 64 58 59 57 78 82
Postgraduate 30 37 39 41 21 17
Other 6 5 1.8 2 1 1.3
How important is religion?
Very 20 17 42 47 7 10
Some 17 29 23 26 25 37
Not too much 33 32 19 10 45 36
Not at all 30 22 16 17 23 17


Teaching the ethical, environmental and social issues that science raises

In 1991 in Japan 85% of Tsukuba University staff, 88% of the public, 89% of scientists, and 93% of high school biology teachers agreed "Students should be informed about the social issues associated with science and technology so that they can take part in contemporary debates." (Macer, 1992). 95% of New Zealand high school biology teachers agreed with this statement in 1990, and 86% thought that the school biology curriculum should include discussion of the values associated with science and technology in New Zealand (Couchman & Fink-Jensen 1990). In the South Australian survey (SCBI, 1992) 97% agreed with a similar statement about bioethics. In 1993 the responses from all teacher samples were over 93%, as seen in Table 4 (p. 190-191) of the general data tables for the International Bioethics Survey (Q16e is Q1e in the public questionnaires). The results of the questions which were specific to the teachers survey are in Table 2 below, and the general attitudes to several topics in science and technology in Table 2B.

In the 1991 Japan survey, teachers at high schools were also asked whether they had taught about ethical, social or environmental issues associated with genetic engineering during the last two years of high school. The values in Japan (N=218, Macer, 1992) and New Zealand (N=261, Couchman and Fink-Jensen, 1990) can be compared (the New Zealand values are given in parentheses). There were significant differences; 64% (83%) had taught about genetic engineering in high school, 41% (89%) had discussed in class the social issues, 51% (95%) had discussed the ethical issues, and 58% (80%) had discussed the environmental issues associated with genetic engineering, while 19% (2%) had not discussed any of these issues in class.

There was somewhat more support for inclusion of these issues in the curriculum, though some teachers who had taught about these issues did not support their inclusion in the curriculum, even though they supported discussing these issues with students. A comparison of the teaching of a range of topics in science, technology and ethics is in Table 3, and the teaching of social and ethical and environmental issues associated with six areas of science and technology is in Table 4.

Japanese teachers were also asked about teaching of the Burakamin problem. There is a large class of people in Japan who are outcasts, still facing discrimination. 45% of biology teachers and 86% of social teachers said they had discussed this in class. 91% of social teachers said they could explain it, 9% had heard only; whereas 66% of biology teachers said they could explain and 32% said they had only heard.

There appears to be much more teaching of these issues in Australian and New Zealand school biology classes than in Japan, though it is a question for further research on how well these issues are taught. These comparisons reveal a number of interesting differences between teaching in schools, despite the similarity in attitudes of teachers to science and technology seen in the general attitude questions (Q7, Q8) in Table 6 in the general data tables (p. 192-198) (See also Table 2B). In all except New Zealand, the biology teachers had taught more than social teachers, but in Japan and Australia the social teachers wanted to include more compared to biology.

In the Japanese questionnaire there was another question following Q10, on who they thought should be responsible for deciding the inclusion of these issues for students. 71% of the biology teachers, and 62% of the social teachers, said national curriculum authorities, whereas 19 and 13% said prefectural authorities, and 19 and 25% said schools and teachers, respectively. From the academic year starting April 1994, a small mention of bioethics is in Japanese social class textbooks.


Table 2: High School teachers additional questions on science and technology (%'s)

Q16 (Q1). To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Samples across the page: NZ90 NZb NZs Ab As J91 Jb Js

j. Scientists have left it mostly to others to communicate science to the public.
Agree Strongly 6 9 13 10 6 3 1 1
Agree 55 54 36 50 57 25 2 5
Neither 29 20 31 16 21 52 38 57
Disagree 11 16 16 23 14 19 43 31
Disagree Strongly 0.4 0.5 4 1 2 1 16 6

k. Public understanding and awareness of science is generally poor.
Agree Strongly 21 22 15 17 21 10 8 6
Agree 66 61 53 59 50 36 39 38
Neither 8 10 21 10 13 35 36 43
Disagree 5 7 9 14 16 18 15 13
Disagree Strongly 0.4 0 2 0 0 1 2 0.3

l. Scientists are obscure and unapproachable.
Agree Strongly 3 3 2 1 4 - 4 3
Agree 29 23 11 14 30 - 17 14
Neither 22 23 51 28 38 - 54 67
Disagree 35 41 28 47 23 - 23 13
Disagree Strongly 11 10 8 10 5 - 2 3

m. Genetic engineering and its applications should be taught as a topic in the school biology syllabus.
Agree Strongly 37 35 7 43 14 - 18 11
Agree 49 55 53 48 69 - 49 49
Neither 14 8 27 6 11 - 24 32
Disagree 0.4 2 8 3 4 - 7 7
Disagree Strongly 0 0.5 5 0 2 - 2 1

n. The school syllabus should include discussion of the issues involved in science and technology.
Agree Strongly - 51 30 54 43 - 19 15
Agree - 45 53 43 48 - 51 45
Neither - 3 12 2 6 - 22 32
Disagree - 0.5 5 0.4 3 - 6 7
Disagree Strongly - 0.5 0 0.4 0 - 2 1


Table 2B: Perceptions of benefit (Q6) or risk (Q7), and open comments about science and technology (%'s) (not in book paper)

Q6. Do you personally believe XXX is a worthwhile area for scientific research? Why?...

Q7. Do you have any worries about the impact of research or applications of XXX? How much? Why?... Columns across the page: NZb NZs Ab As Jb Js

In vitro fertilisation
Q6
Yes 85 77 80 79 80 66
No 10 8 11 11 9 14
Don't know 5 15 9 10 11 20
Q7
No worries 25 29 16 17 12 12
A few 39 30 25 22 50 42
Some 24 29 35 36 26 29
A lot 12 13 24 25 12 17

Computers
Q6
Yes 95 98 93 90 93 92
No 0.5 0 1 2 2 2
Don't know 4 2 6 8 5 6
Q7
No worries 53 53 47 39 57 52
A few 31 24 27 32 32 34
Some 14 20 20 21 7 9
A lot 2 3 6 8 4 5

Biotechnology
Q6
Yes 94 62 93 73 95 87
No 0 3 0.4 0 2 5
Don't know 6 35 7 27 3 8
Q7
No worries 42 31 23 29 22 22
A few 37 38 37 25 49 46
Some 17 27 31 28 21 22
A lot 4 4 9 18 8 10

Nuclear Power
Q6
Yes 60 62 75 75 73 78
No 23 33 17 16 18 16
Don't know 7 5 8 9 9 6
Q7
No worries 9 6 6 7 7 9
A few 16 12 20 20 21 25
Some 21 27 32 28 29 21
A lot 54 55 42 45 43 45

Pesticides
Q6
Yes 82 77 86 84 88 86
No 13 14 7 5 7 6
Don't know 5 9 7 11 5 8
Q7
No worries 12 10 12 13 11 17
A few 22 13 19 18 34 33
Some 36 42 39 33 35 28
A lot 30 35 30 36 20 22

Genetic engineering
Q6
Yes 92 60 94 69 90 74
No 4 20 1 14 4 9
Don't know 4 20 5 17 6 17
Q7
No worries 13 9 11 10 15 15
A few 34 11 23 12 44 34
Some 38 38 39 29 28 29
A lot 15 42 27 49 14 22


Table 3: Comparative teaching of selected subjects in Australian, Japanese and New Zealand high schools (%'s)

Q6. Can you tell me how much you have heard or read about each of these subjects?
Not heard of it Heard of it (Know) Could explain it to a friend (Explain)
Have you discussed it in class? (Teach - Yes)

Columns across the page: NZb- Know, Explain, Teach; NZs- Know, Explain, Teach; Ab- Know, Explain, Teach; As- Know, Explain, Teach; Jb- Know, Explain, Teach; Js- Know, Explain, Teach;
Subject

Pesticides 5 95 88 6 92 82 5 95 85 10 90 62 24 76 76 40 60 67
IVF 2 98 84 12 86 36 3 97 91 8 92 56 10 90 76 45 55 31
Prenatal diagnosis17 82 72 29 67 31 10 89 76 29 65 25 - - - -
Biological pest control1 99 96 13 86 68 6 94 86 17 82 55 24 73 65 56 30 22
Eugenics33 48 36 35 26 14 52 27 38 34 26 22 34 54 38 56 28 17
Computers 19 81 61 5 95 92 22 78 60 16 84 70 42 57 38 52 46 50
Biotechnology 12 88 78 50 44 31 11 89 79 38 54 40 11 89 88 50 49 54
Nuclear power 6 94 82 7 93 95 9 91 81 10 89 89 25 74 61 17 83 87
AIDS 1 99 94 3 97 80 0.4 100 94 3 97 78 9 91 84 24 76 60
Human gene therapy 22 76 66 44 31 15 16 80 71 40 40 21 35 62 51 61 18 15
Fibre optics 36 64 48 53 43 33 38 60 40 56 40 24 56 42 22 63 32 32
Bioethics 22 76 67 43 39 22 20 77 70 31 63 42 47 50 45 57 37 39
Plant genetic engineering 7 93 88 40 56 36 9 91 85 43 56 42 25 74 69 67 18 22
Microbe genetic engineering 10 90 81 53 30 12 13 86 76 50 39 18 27 72 66 71 10 9
Animal genetic engineering 9 91 81 44 52 38 9 91 85 43 57 44 32 67 59 68 17 20


Table 4: Comparative teaching of the ethical, social and environmental issues (%'s)

Q9. S&E- Have you ever discussed in class the social, ethical and/or environmental issues associated with applications of these scientific developments?

Q10. Env- Do you think that more room should be made in the curriculum for discussion of these issues associated with applications of these scientific developments?

Columns across the page: NZb- Q9, Q10; NZs- Q9, Q10; Ab- Q9, Q10; As- Q9, Q10; Jb- Q9, Q10; Js- Q9, Q10;


IVF
S&E 77 55 38 45 87 50 55 60 57 62 31 71
Env 15 21 9 11 17 18 14 25 7 11 2 8
Prenatal diagnosis
S&E 67 56 29 50 74 50 29 53 40 55 19 61
Env 11 18 7 10 14 18 5 18 4 11 3 11
Biotechnology
S&E 51 62 26 47 67 50 35 55 47 58 32 58
Env 46 60 29 43 49 43 27 41 39 49 26 50
Nuclear power
S&E 60 54 68 66 61 47 63 55 25 40 37 48
Env 86 66 90 66 77 52 75 59 66 84 83 87
Pesticides
S&E 59 53 32 41 43 41 39 52 18 28 17 29
Env 86 72 41 61 90 57 57 64 52 71 27 72
Genetic engineering
S&E 85 72 41 61 90 57 57 64 52 71 27 72
Env 44 53 19 28 53 44 25 41 30 42 8 25


Images and attitudes to teaching bioethics

Parts of this section were added to the original paper.

At the start of the questionnaire teachers were asked what they thought bioethics is. The ideas were examined and categorised into up to two categories, as shown in Table 5A. We can see the similar attitudes towards images of bioethics in New Zealand and Australian teachers. They frequently mentioned "How we should use life", "Science/biology raises issues", "Decide before use", and "How to apply biotechnology". On the other hand, Japanese teachers more frequently mentioned "Respect for life", "Natural providence", "A very important subject", and "Human benefit/ right", especially social studies teachers. This suggests a more practical understanding of the issues in New Zealand and Australia, and that teachers are more at the first stage of recognition of bioethics in Japan, with more abstract images and less practical. The interesting open comments of teachers defining bioethics are in p. 426-452.

After completing the questionnaire most teachers were very supportive of bioethics education (Q21, Table 5B). Overall Australian teachers were most positive to bioethics education. In South Australia, 10% of the senior biology course is examined and taught on bioethics. In New Zealand and Australia the major reasons given why bioethics education is needed were "People faces issues in the world" and "Science raises issues". On the contrary, in Japan the major reason was "Respect for life", as it had been for Q5 (Table 5A). However, significant numbers of Japanese teachers included ideas like "Debate is useful / it is dangerous not to have bioethics education". These comments are more concrete than shown in Q5, so their reasons for needs of bioethics education were more practical than their images of bioethics. It must be recognised that the sample of teachers selected by principals, and the respondents who spent the time to complete the questionnaire, could have led to bias in the response.

In the comments categorized under "Debate is useful / it is dangerous not to have bioethics education", a number of Japanese teachers wrote that mass media and civilized environment had led children to disrespect life in recent days. This kind of concern itself was not a specific feature of Japan, some teachers in New Zealand and Australia also expressed similar ideas, with more emphasis on the "Respect for life" theme. Japanese teachers may be more cautious about this trend among the young generation, and some had strong thoughts that it is dangerous not to have bioethics education. Bioethics education could influence the general climate of thought. The Australasian teachers appear to be already involved in this education, thus a trend for more concrete reasons as discussed above.

No teachers in New Zealand and Australia, and only a few teachers in Japan (Jb=1.3 %, Js=1.6 %) specifically mentioned medical issues as a reason for bioethics education, although 11-14% of Australian teachers had mentioned medical issues as a image of bioethics (Q5). The frequency of such medical comments may vary as a result of the questionnaire. It may have got teachers to think about bioethical issues in non-medical biology, science and technology, because the questionnaire dealt with bioethics broadly. This suggests that the questionnaire itself could influence teacher's attitudes and ideas.

In all countries, teachers more frequently included ideas like "People face issues in the world" and "Don't trust science" as reasons for teaching bioethics than they mentioned as images of bioethics. The "Don't trust science" comments included more extreme comments than the "Science/biology raises issues" or "People face issues in the world" categories. Many teachers do feel there is a need for students to make bioethical decisions in their future life, and some mentioned the general public should participate in discussion of bioethical issues. They held a strong responsibility to educate youngsters. The "How to apply bio(technology)" comments are more specific than "Science/biology raises issues". One of the reasons why many teachers in every country gave strong comments in the last part of the questionnaire may be that they had thought of issues throughout the questionnaire and acquired a broader and/or clearer picture of bioethics and bioethics education. On the other hand, although the initial images of bioethics were early in the questionnaire and many expressed ideas about technology, teachers' answers to later questions may have actually been influenced by the science and technology focus of the questionnaire.


Table 5A: Images of bioethics (%'s)

Q5. What do you think bioethics is?

Columns across the page: NZb NZs Ab As Jb Js

N 205 100 250 120 561 384
Not stated 5.9 9.0 5.2 5.8 28.7 31.0
Respect for life 3.4 2.0 0.8 3.3 27.5 21.9
Natural providence 1.5 3.0 0.8 2.5 9.3 9.6
A very important subject 1.0 0 0 0 1.6 9.4
How we should use life 28.8 19.0 26.8 13.4 6.8 6.5
Science / biology raises issues 32.2 24.0 28.8 30.0 2.1 6.8
People face issues 0.5 0 0 0 1.3 1.3
Debate is useful 1.0 3.0 0.4 1.7 2.5 0
Decide before use 9.8 20.0 14.0 18.4 4.1 5.5
How to apply biology/ biotech 14.1 13.0 19.2 19.1 5.3 3.9
Don't trust science 0 0 0 0 0.2 0.3
Environmental issues 6.8 12.0 3.6 3.3 6.3 4.7
Animal rights / experiments 17.6 12.0 8.0 5.0 1.1 0
Human benefit / rights 1.5 1.0 2.8 1.7 9.3 21.9
Medical issues 4.4 6.0 14.0 10.9 5.9 6.5
Other 2.0 0 0 2.5 6.8 6.0
Don't know 0 3.0 0.4 3.3 2.0 2.3


Table 5B: Is bioethics needed in education? (%'s)

Q21: Do you think that bioethics is needed in education?

Columns across the page: NZb NZs Ab As Jb Js

N 202 90 228 100 530 348
Very much 47 40 56 57 35 42
Some 51 55 41 41 51 49
Neither 2 2 2 1 13 9
Not really needed 0.5 3 1 1 1 0
Not needed 0 0 0 0 0.4 0

Why? Reasons given
Not stated 23.8 35.2 26.2 33.0 41.9 44.0
Respect for life 16.8 3.4 10.0 6.3 27.6 26.1
Science raises issues 26.8 26.1 25.7 28.6 6.8 11.2
People face issues in world 20.8 19.3 25.0 22.3 4.7 4.9
Don't trust science 2.5 2.3 4.3 6.3 0.4 1.2
Environmental problems 5.5 6.8 3.2 3.6 7.2 4.6
Animal experiments issues 8.4 1.1 5.2 0 2.6 0
Debate is needed 0.5 1.1 4.4 0.9 10.2 10.1
Other 3.0 0 6.0 4.5 3.6 3.7
Teachers may be biased 0 0 0.4 0 0.8 0.5
Don't know 0.5 0 0 0 5.8 2.3

In which subject?
Biology 40 19 52 31 43 25
Science 35 24 45 40 17 8.7
Social 2.5 20 4.4 26 16 33
Geography 0 10 1.8 7.0 - -
Religion/Ethics/Moral 0.5 2.2 7.9 20 8.1 22
Health 0.5 0 0 1.0 17 12
Home economics 0 0 0 0 4.5 3.4
Home room 0 0 0 0 15 2.4
Language (English/Japanese) 0 1.1 2.2 6.0 1.4 2.1
Others 0.5 1.1 4.4 12 4.0 5.6
Many 12 3.3 13 12 13 13
Not Stated 47 58 25 23 28 30


Animal Experiments

The number of animal experiments may vary widely in the different situations and schools, with some saying that they don't do experiments, while others saying strongly that they need experiments. This was the most sensitive issue in the questionnaire for some teachers, and the results are interesting. The results of questions on this issue are in Table 6. In Q18 the reasons that are against experiments include, no need for animals, or don't use them. Some teachers, especially in New Zealand expressed concern about student abuse of animals and disrespect for life. Many social teachers expressed "don't know" to the existence of guidelines in the school (Q20) without an answer, while others said "Yes" but they didn't know what the guidelines included. One Australian teacher returned the questionnaire with a copy of the South Australian state Code of Practice for the Use and Care of Animals in Schools. In the comments about what bioethics is, at the end of the book (p. 426-452), a number of teachers expressed animal concerns.

Another way to measure is to ask students how they feel, which is another important method. In the experience of one of us (S.A.) teaching at Tokyo Wild Life College, Chiba prefecture, 145 students in there first year biology course were asked how they felt after mouse dissections. In these classes, one mouse was used per 24 students, who were in training to be involved in animal nursing (71) or keeping animals (74). There were 84% women, and this was there first and only animal experiment in the first year course. They had the option not to join in, but all did so. A short questionnaire on the course, including several open questions on this issue was made. The open comments included - 11% said they had a bad feeling, 4% said they were sorry, 4% said they felt it was like a human or wondered why it was needed, 4% said they could feel "death"; 35% said it was interesting, 13% said they hoped they could do again, 9% said it was great, and there were a variety of other comments ranging from it was the same as cooking to they wanted to say thank you.

On animal guidelines and care in Australasia


Table 6A: Ethical concerns about animal experiments (%'s)

%Columns across the page: NZb NZs Ab As Jb Js
Use animals in class? 90 8 71 19 69 33
Need to teach biology? 93 72 67 52 85 73

Q18a. Have you ever had ethical concerns about using animals? No; Yes (what?...)
Q18b. Have students ever said that they have ethical concerns about using animals? %Columns across the page: NZb-18a, 18b; NZs-18a, 18b; Ab-18a, 18b; As-18a, 18b; Jb-18a, 18b; Js-18a, 18b;

N - total 193 197 60 65 155 194 59 50 513 500 214 147
Yes, have concerns (%) 65 73 63 65 63 80 71 64 75 67 72 45
Teacher's Yes (%) 82 80 88 80 78 65
Teacher's No (%) 60 42 67 35 33 10
N - of yes with comments 122 134 29 31 136 165 41 36 297 248 86 26
N - of dk/no with comments 15 7 1 2 7 4 1 0 6 5 0 2

Comments by those who said yes, they had ethical concerns (%)
N 126 145 38 42 144 187 57 48 382 327 145 52
Not stated 5.7 8.3 23.7 26.2 5.6 11.8 28.0 25.0 22.0 23.7 42.1 53.9
No need for animals 15.1 11.1 7.9 7.1 20.1 16.0 8.7 4.2 9.2 2.1 8.3 1.9
Don't use them 4.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 0.0 3.5 4.2 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.0
Only use dead animals 7.1 1.4 5.3 2.4 6.3 1.1 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.6 0.0 0.0
Live (observe) only 6.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.4 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0
Return to nature after 5.6 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0
Dissections 14.3 21.4 5.3 9.5 9.7 14.4 7.0 2.1 6.0 6.4 2.1 5.8
Invertebrates lower / Mammals special 3.2 3.4 2.6 2.4 2.1 1.6 0.0 0.0 3.9 2.8 0.0 0.0
Small number used 2.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.8 0.0 7.0 0.0 7.3 0.9 4.8 1.9
Humane use; No pain 15.9 14.5 10.5 2.4 25.7 13.4 10.5 4.2 1.6 0.9 0.0 1.9
Animal rights 7.9 12.4 15.8 14.3 2.1 11.8 7.0 18.8 5.2 2.1 15.9 5.8
Cosmetic testing bad 0.0 2.7 13.1 11.9 4.9 3.7 7.0 6.3 0.0 0.0 2.8 0.0
Cruel to hurt them 16.7 41.4 26.3 40.4 8.3 28.3 14.0 18.8 7.3 39.4 6.2 25.0
Respect; Dignity 1.6 0.7 0.0 0.0 2.8 0.5 0.0 0.0 8.9 7.6 5.5 3.8
Debate in class; choice 0.8 2.1 0.0 4.7 2.1 2.7 0.0 4.2 1.8 1.8 0.0 0.0
Cost/benefit analysis 2.4 0.0 2.6 0.0 2.1 0.5 1.8 2.1 11.5 3.1 3.4 0.0
Feel guilty, but do expt 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.4 0.9 6.2 1.9
Disposal of dead body 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 1.8 0.8 0.0 0.0
Need experiments 0.8 0.7 0.0 0.0 1.4 0.5 0.0 0.0 1.6 2.1 0.7 1.9
No concern 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.7 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Students abuse animals 19.0 2.8 0.0 0.0 4.9 0.0 1.8 0.0 1.6 1.8 0.0 0.0
Other 7.9 2.8 7.9 4.7 8.3 4.3 3.5 2.1 9.4 6.7 5.5 3.8
Don't know 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.4 0.0 0.0


Table 6B: Q20 At your school are there any guidelines about using animals in class? (%'s)

Columns across the page: NZb NZs Ab As Jb Js

Yes (%) 72.3 22.6 62.8 34.8 12.0 10.0
Yes - Number 146 14 145 29 62 10
Yes with comments 136 12 125 18 50 5
Yes - Not stated (%) 6.9 14.3 16.0 37.9 18.0 50.0
No - Number 50 13 82 31 454 93
No with comments 11 3 16 7 1 1
No - Not Stated 78.0 76.2 80.5 77.4 95.8 98.9
DK - Number 6 35 6 23 2 36

Yes Reasons (%):
Respect 6.8 0.0 6.9 3.4 16.1 20.0
After death treatment 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.2 0.0
Humane care 24.0 7.1 17.2 10.3 8.1 20.0
Dead animals only 4.8 7.1 11.0 13.8 1.6 0.0
Forbidden to kill/observe only 6.2 7.1 5.5 6.9 4.8 0.0
Don't use or need 0.7 0.0 2.1 0.0 1.6 0.0
Minimise number 0.7 0.0 7.6 0.0 25.8 10.0
No vertebrates to be used 13.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.2 0.0
Only guidelines for vertebrates 5.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Small animals only 0.0 0.0 0.7 0.0 11.3 0.0
National guidelines/Law 26.0 7.1 26.9 6.9 0.0 10.0
Other guidelines/guidance 8.9 0.0 9.0 6.9 1.6 0.0
Committee approves 13.0 1.4 9.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Safety 1.4 0.0 2.8 0.0 0.0 0.0
No written guidelines/vague 0.7 0.7 2.1 3.4 1.6 0.0
Need experiments 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 0.0
Other 1.4 0.0 1.4 0.0 11.3 0.0
Don't know 1.4 21.4 3.4 20.7 0.0 0.0


Information and Teaching Resources

In the survey there were three questions about the materials used to teach about bioethical issues, and the results of these questions are summarised in Table 7. Most teachers said that they did not have sufficient materials to teach about these issues (Q12). The responses were very diverse, especially to Q22. Among the common responses in the "Many/other" category were school visits by scientists. In the South Australian survey (SCBI, 1992) of 120 schools the main request was for fact sheets, or discussion material - as was common here too. The issues regarded important from a list of six were firstly genetic engineering, then IVF, AIDS, abortion, euthanasia, and little interest was shown in surrogacy. We will develop some simple sheets for trial in high schools and improve them with feedback from teachers.


Table 7: Teaching Resources

Columns across the page: NZb NZs Ab As Jb Js

Q12. Do you have sufficient material to teach about these issues?
Yes (%) 11 23 28 28 3* 14*

Q11. What books and material do you use to teach about these issues?
Q12. Do you have sufficient material to teach about these issues? What other teaching aids would you suggest?
Q22. What do you need, for example what teaching materials, if bioethics is included in the school syllabus in future?

Columns across the page: NZb- Q11, Q12, Q22; NZs- Q11, Q12, Q22; Ab- Q11, Q12, Q22; As- Q11, Q12, Q22; Jb- Q11, Q12, Q22; Js- Q11, Q12, Q22;

Reasons

Not stated 5 13 20 10 20 47 8 17 22 11 18 37 24 61 35 22 52 44
Video/TV 16 18 13 19 17 7 31 20 19 26 20 13 29 17 5 37 13 5
Textbook 26 2 12 24 6 3 37 2 7 23 1 2 10 2 5 5 3 3
Other book 19 5 3 25 2 0 23 3 2 22 1 2 22 4 3 20 3 4
Collect materials 7 3 1 9 0 1 8 4 0 11 4 0 1 0.3 0 1 0.2 0
Newspaper/ Magazine 62 2 2 38 4 1 60 6 2 47 8 3 44 4 0.2 47 5 0.3
Many things 11 25 15 13 23 18 18 22 24 20 14 21 4 6 17 3 13 12
Discuss S&T 6 23 44 3 19 21 4 22 33 6 31 32 0.3 1 7 1 1 2
Fact sheets 4 13 13 2 5 7 3 7 8 2 7 7 3 1 10 2 2 4
Need new information 3 20 14 0 16 7 3 23 11 4 15 3 0 1 9 0 1 5
Reference list 1 5 3 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0.3 0 0.2 0.4 0
Experimental ideas 0 1 3 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1
Teachers course 8 4 4 0 2 0 4 1 3 3 1 4 0 0 5 0 1 3
Shortage 5 7 1 7 5 3 3 5 1 1 8 3 9 3 0 11 4 0.3
Need information - - 3 - - 0 - - 5 - - 0 - - 12 - - 18
Need to think - - 0 - - 1 - - 0.4 - - 0 - - 10 - - 10
Don't need 0 2 3 0 6 1 0 4 2 0 4 3 0 4 2 0 4 0.3
Don't know 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0 6 0 0 0.4 1 0 3 0 3 2 0.4 3 2

* About 40% of the Japanese teachers did not answer Q12, and about 40% of those who answered Q12 had doubts about it, though also suggesting some material. The reasons are based on %'s of the total who answered Q11.

* About 40% of the Japanese teachers did not answer Q12, and about 40% of those who answered Q12 had doubts about it, though also suggesting some material. The reasons are based on %'s of the total who answered Q11.


Conclusions

There is strong support for teaching students about the ethical and social issues associated with science and technology, and such issues are already introduced into the curriculum to varying degrees in these three countries. There is more inclusion in Australia and New Zealand teachers than in Japan, especially as revealed by responses to Q10. Many teachers said that these issues were already included in the curriculum, and the teaching patterns revealed by Q5 and Q9 supported this. There were a range of classes and years at which these diseases were taught. Some teachers also felt that these issues needed to be taught at the discretion of the teachers.

There should be research into how these issues are being best taught, the most suitable issues, the suitable classes and the most effective delivery. They are relevant to both science and social studies classes. Over some issues there are some significant attitudinal differences between these two teaching specialities (e.g. Q16a - science and quality of life; Q16d, Q15 - benefits of genetically modified organisms; Q7 - benefits of biotechnology; Q7 and Q8 - benefits and risks of genetic engineering; Q13 - level of concern about foodstuffs made from genetically modified organisms). Science teachers should also be encouraged to include the teaching of these issues in science courses, especially in some subjects, such as human gene therapy, biotechnology and genetic engineering, where there is significant difference in familiarity.

However, in general the perceptions of different areas of science and technology (Q7, Q8), varied along country lines rather than with teacher's speciality. There were also quite similar attitudes to many of these questions between the different countries, consistent with the general public and student attitudes revealed in the International Bioethics Survey.

The next stage in this project is the development of materials to aid the teaching of these issues, and the responses obtained will be used to make such materials. The teachers who requested a summary of the results, will be asked to test some materials, and to develop these. We will prepare fact and summary sheets, discussion questions, with references, for open copying by teachers, and ongoing assessment and improvement with the willing teachers in these countries. More teachers will be able to join, and eventually it is hoped that some of these materials may be used in the curriculum to ensure all students get to think about these issues which affect their future life. However, bioethics in our view should remain interdisciplinary, and is not the teaching of information but the teaching of thinking, reasoning and decision-making, which involves balancing of the issues. The danger of including bioethics as a subject in the curriculum is that tests will be set to measure students learning, which could go to far. The use of an STS approach to teach science would make it easier to teach bioethics, and may actually teach data more effectively. The use of animals may need to be reassessed given modern alternatives, videos etc, and attitudes to the issue have been surveyed before among students. Environmental education is already supplied with several books, such as the Environmental Education Sourcebooks from the Australian Curriculum Development Centre.

The experience of inclusion of bioethics issues in the senior high school biology curriculum in South Australia, and in "issues" topics in senior high school in New Zealand, for example, should be built upon to aid the teaching of these issues in other countries. With the collaboration of some of those involved in the International Bioethics Survey, and hopefully in other countries who wish to join us, this project will be extended to other countries in Asia. Part of the budget of the Human Genome Project in the Americas and Europe is being spent on education, and we hope that these educational approaches (e.g. Beck & Bodurtha, 1994), can develop together. It would also be timely to join these efforts under the umbrella of international organisations, such as UNESCO. At this early stage we cannot test which method is most effective if the diverse attempts remain isolated.


Acknowledgements

The funding for the Japanese section of this survey came from grant number #05680147 of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. The funding for the Australian and New Zealand surveys came from the Eubios Ethics Institute. We thank the Australian embassy in Japan for providing a list of schools for use in this survey, and the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute. We thank Nobuko Macer for help in the questionnaire design, preparation and distribution. We also thank Yuko Kato, Minako Teramoto, Miho Tsuzuki, Keiko Wakao, and Mihoko Yamanishi for assistance with the preparation of the surveys, and Tooru Katayama, Izumi Otani for useful comments in the preparation of the questionnaire.


References
Beck, K. & Bodurtha, J., (1994) "Human genetics and ethics education in the high school classroom", pp. 235-241 in Intractable Neurological Disorders, Human Genome Research and Society (Christchurch: Eubios Ethics Institute 1994).
Couchman, P.K. & Fink-Jensen, K. Public Attitudes to Genetic Engineering in New Zealand (DSIR Crop Research Report 138; DSIR Crop Research Division, Christchurch, New Zealand 1990).
Macer, D.R.J. Attitudes to Genetic Engineering: Japanese and International Comparisons (Christchurch: Eubios Ethics Institute 1992).
SCBI - Southern Cross Bioethics Institute (1992), Feasibility Study on Bioethics Study Notes.
Additional reading

Braman, C.R. & Hendrix, J.R. (1983) "Exploring bioethical issues: An instructional model", American Biology Teacher 45: 23-31.
Hendrix, J.R. (1993) "The continuum: A teaching strategy for science and society issues", American Biology Teacher 55: 178-81.
Kumano, Y. (1991) "Why does Japan need STS .... A comparative study of secondary science education between Japan and the U.S. focusing on an STS approach", Bull. Sci. Tech. Soc. 11: 322-30.
Lock, R. & Miles, C. (1993) "Biotechnology and genetic engineering: students' knowledge and attitudes", J. Biological Education 27: 267-72.
Macer, D.R.J. (1992b) Public acceptance of human gene therapy and perceptions of human genetic manipulation. Hum. Gene Ther. 3, 511-8.
Macer, D. (1992c) The 'far east' of biological ethics. Nature 359, 770.
Macer, D.R.J. (1994a). Bioethics for the People by the People. (Eubios Ethics Institute, Christchurch, N.Z.).
Macer, D. (1994b). Perception of risks and benefits of in vitro fertilization, genetic engineering and biotechnology. Social Science and Medicine 38, 23-33.
Macer, D.R.J., Akiyama, S., Alora, A.T., Asada, Y., Azariah, J., Azariah, H., Boost, M.V., Chatwachirawong, P., Kato, Y., Kaushik, V., Leavitt, F.J., Macer, N.Y., Ong, C.C., Srinives, P. & Tsuzuki, M. (1995), "International perceptions and approval of gene therapy", Human Gene Therapy 6: 791-803.
Macer, D.R.J., Asada, Y., Akiyama, S., Macer, N.Y. & Tsuzuki, M. Bioethics in high schools in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, Eubios Ethics Institute, In Press.
Mattheis, F.E. et al. (1992) "A study of the logical thinking skills and integrated process skills of junior high school students in North Carolina and Japan", Science Education 76: 211-22.
Ramsey, J. (1993) "The science education reform movement: Implications for social responsibility", Science Education 77: 235-58.
Rest, J.R. Moral Development: Advances in Research and Theory (New York: Praeger, 1986).
Self, D., Wolkinsky, F.D. & Baldwin, D.C. (1989) "The effect of teaching medical ethics on medical students' moral reasoning", Academic Medicine 64: 755-9.
Tsuzuki, M., Asada, Y., Akiyama, S., Macer, N.Y. & Macer, D.R.J. "Attitudes to animal experiments in high schools in Australia, New Zealand and Japan", manuscript in preparation.
Waks, L.J. & Barchi, B.A. (1992) "STS in U.S. school science: perceptions of selected leaders and their implications for STS education", Science Education 76: 79-90.
Yager, R. (1990) "Science/technology/society movement in the United States: Its origin, evolution, and rationale", Social Education 54: 198-201.

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