pp. 249-255 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.

International High School Bioethics Education Survey Questionnaire


The questionnaires are adjusted for the Internet communication, further details are available from Darryl Macer. It is hoped that this survey, or some of the questions from it can be used by other researchers around the world and comparisons made. Although the free and unrestricted use of this survey is encouraged, contact beforehand may enable simultaneous use of modified questions which may explore attitudes and perceptions in better ways... This is intended as an ongoing project to look at bioethical education around the world.
H2>International High School Bioethics Education Survey
Dear Principal, July 1993

Please excuse this request to ask two teachers at your school to answer a questionnaire. This survey is being conducted in order to discover the current teaching of the social issues associated with science and technology, especially bioethics. It is also investigating the attitudes of high school teachers towards these issues. It is being conducted in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, as independent university research. The findings will all be published and given to teachers, academics, and the Ministry of Education in each country.

We would be very grateful if you could give one questionnaire to a biology (or science) teacher, and one to a social studies teacher. Please ask them to return in the addressed reply paid envelope which is enclosed. Further explanation is on the questionnaire introduction.

We hope for the further development of your school,
Yours sincerely, ... [same]

International High School Bioethics Education Survey


Dear Teacher,

This survey is being conducted in order to discover the current teaching of the social issues associated with science and technology, especially bioethics. It is also investigating the attitudes of high school teachers toward these issues, such as the environmental and ethical issues associated with genetic engineering. It is being conducted in New Zealand, Australia and Japan, as independent university research. The findings will all be openly published and given to teachers, academics, and the Ministry of Education in each country. At the bottom of this page is an optional form you can return if you wish to receive a summary of the results.

Bioethics could be defined as the study of ethical issues and decision-making associated with the use of living organisms and medicine. Society is facing many important decisions about the use of science and technology. These decisions affect the environment, human health, society and international policy. We would like to find out what you think about science and technology, and some of the ethical issues that the application of technology raises.

In 1990 in New Zealand, and in 1991 in Japan surveys were conducted on attitudes to genetic engineering. In both countries there was strong agreement for the inclusion in the curriculum of ethical and social issues in science teaching, from public, teachers, and academics. There is a chance that you or your school replied to the last survey. You may think these issues should be included in the set curriculum, or taught outside of it, this survey wants to look at what teachers think. We hope that this survey will have some influence on education policy at all levels including international. You are encouraged to write more if you wish. If you find a question difficult to answer, we would still like your answers to the others.

Please return the completed questionnaire in the enclosed Reply Paid envelope, within two weeks of receiving it if possible. (You can also write the address on any envelope and post it without a stamp). Your privacy will be absolutely maintained. A school number is written on the back of the questionnaire for our reference to judge response rate from different areas. We will regard the answers as personal responses of teachers, not schools. If you do not want to fill in the questionnaire because of that, please cut off the number before you reply.

Thank you for your cooperation and time,
Yours sincerely,

Darryl Macer, Ph.D.
International Bioethics Survey
Freepost 1629,
P.O. Box 5287, Papanui, Christchurch.
If you wish to receive a summary of the results of this survey you can return the bottom of this letter. It will be separated from the questionnaire upon opening the envelope to ensure your comments remain anonymous.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, please send me a copy of the summary of results:

Name: ________________________________
Address: ________________________________
________________________________
International High School Bioethics Education Survey

Please circle your answer for each question (Circle all that apply), and write your comments.

Q1. (New Zealand) Which of the following subjects have your taught at high school and at what levels?
3rd Form 4th Form 5th Form 6th Form 7th Form
Biology
Genetics
Agriculture
Chemistry
General science
Physics
Social Studies
Other... (what?)

Q2. What is the main subject you teach?

Q3. What is the number of students at your school?
1 0-200 2 201-600 3 601-1500 4 1501+

Q4. What type of school do you teach at?
1 Public high school in urban area 2 Public high school in rural area
3 Private high school in urban area 4 Private high school in rural area

Q5. What do you think bioethics is?

Q6. Can you tell me how much you have heard or read about each of these subjects?
1 Not heard
2 Heard of it
3 Could explain
Have you discussed it in class?
4 No
5 Yes

Agricultural Pesticides
In vitro fertilisation
Prenatal diagnosis
Biological pest control
Eugenics
Computers
Biotechnology
Nuclear power
AIDS
Human gene therapy
Fibre optics
Bioethics
Genetic engineering of Plants
Genetic engineering of Microbes
Genetic engineering of Animals

Q7. Do you personally believe each of these scientific discoveries and developments is a worthwhile area for scientific research? Why?...
1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't know
Why?...

In vitro fertilisation

Computers

Biotechnology

Nuclear power

Agricultural Pesticides

Fibre Optics

Genetic engineering

Q8. Do you have any worries about the impact of research or its applications of these scientific discoveries and developments? How much? Why?..
1No 2 A few 3 Some 4 A lot
Why?...

In vitro fertilisation

Computers

Biotechnology

Nuclear power

Agricultural Pesticides

Fibre Optics

Genetic engineering

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

Circle all that apply
Which issues and in what classes?
1 Social & Ethical
2 Environmental
3 No
In vitro fertilisation
Prenatal diagnosis
Biotechnology
Nuclear power
Agricultural Pesticides
Genetic engineering
Other topics..?

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

Circle all that apply
Which issues and in what classes?
1 Social & Ethical
2 Environmental
3 No
In vitro fertilisation
Prenatal diagnosis
Biotechnology
Nuclear power
Agricultural Pesticides
Genetic engineering
Other topics..?

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?

Q13. Genetically modified organisms, such as bacteria, plants and animals, are being used to produce food and medicines. If any of the following were to be produced from genetically modified organisms, would you have any concerns about using them? How much? Why?

1No 2 A few 3 Some 4 A lot
Why?...

Dairy products
Vegetables
Meat
Medicines

Q14. How do you feel about scientists changing the genetic makeup of human cells to:

1 Strongly Approve
2 Somewhat Approve
3 Somewhat Disapprove
4 Strongly Disapprove
5 Don't know

a. Cure a usually fatal disease, such as cancer
b. Reduce the risk of developing a fatal disease later in life
c. Prevent children from inheriting a usually fatal disease
d. Prevent children from inheriting a non-fatal disease, such as diabetes
e. Improve the physical characteristics that children would inherit
f. Improve the intelligence level that children would inherit
g. Make people more ethical h. As an AIDS vaccine

Q15. If there was no direct risk to humans and only very remote risks to the environment, would you approve or disapprove of the environmental use of genetically engineered organisms designed to produce...?
1 Approve 2 Disapprove 3 Don't know

Tomatoes with better taste
Healthier meat (e.g. less fat)
Larger sport fish
Bacteria to clean up oil spills
Disease resistant crops
Cows which produce more milk

Q16. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
1 Agree Strongly
2 Agree
3 Neither
4 Disagree
5 Disagree Strongly

a. Science makes an important contribution to the quality of life.
b. Most problems can be solved by applying more and better technology.
c. The natural environment has a valuable property that humans should not tamper with.
d. Genetically modified plants and animals will help agriculture become less dependent on chemical pesticides.
e. Students should be informed about the social issues associated with science and technology so that they can participate in contemporary debates.
f. A woman can abort a 4 month old fetus.
g. A woman can abort a 4 month old fetus that has congenital abnormalities.
h. A married couple can use a surrogate mother and in vitro fertilisation if they cannot get pregnant themselves.
i. Animals have rights that people should not violate.
j. Scientists have mostly left it to others to communicate science to the public.
k. Public understanding and awareness of science is generally very poor.
l. Scientists are obscure and unapproachable.
m. Genetic engineering and its applications should be taught as a topic in the school biology syllabus.
n. The school biology syllabus should include discussion of the issues involved in science and technology.

Q17. Do you use animals for biology experiments?
1 No 2 Yes

Q18a. Have you ever had ethical concerns about using animals?

1 No 2 Yes (What?..)

Q18b. Have students ever said that they have ethical concerns about using animals?

1 No 2 Yes (What?..)


Q19. Do think that some animal experiments are necessary to teach biology at high school?
1 No 2 Yes

Q20. At your school are there any guidelines about using animals in class?

1 No 2 Yes (What do they say?..)

Q21. Do you think that bioethics is needed in education?
1 Very much
2 Some
3 Neither
4 Not really needed
5 Not needed

Why?...



In what year and in what classes do you think bioethics should be discussed?

Year _____ Class ________ Other comments

Year _____ Class ________ Other comments

Year _____ Class ________ Other comments

Q22. What do you need, for example what teaching materials, if bioethics is included in the school syllabus in future?






Personal Information (privacy for all survey questions will be strictly preserved).

Sex: 1 Male 2 Female Age (years): _________

Race/ethnic origin: 1 Caucasian 2 Asian 3 African 4 Indian 5 Arabic 6 Maori 7 Aboriginal 8 Other ( )

In your daily life, do you consider religion to be...?
1 Very important
2 Somewhat important
3 Not too important
4 Not important at all

Marital status: 1 Single 2 Married 3 Divorced/Widow 4 Other ( )

Children: 1 None 2 Pregnant 3 Number ( )

Education: 1 High School 2 Two year college 3 University graduate 4 Postgraduate degree ( ) 5 Other ( )

Annual family income: 1 <$20,000 2 $20,000 - $35,000
3 $35,000 - $50,000 4 >$50,000

Address: 1 Urban 2 Rural State/City: _______ Date:___________

Thank you for your time. Please return the questionnaire using the Reply Paid envelope to:

Freepost 1629, International Bioethics Survey, P.O. Box 5287, Papanui, Christchurch.


Please send comments to Email < asianbioethics@yahoo.co.nz >.

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