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PreK-Grade 12 International Day and Boarding School in Kobe, Japan | Since 1913


Bioethics of Genetics

Bioethics of Genetics

Students at CA don't shy away from some of the tough questions facing society-- whether it is through our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives or what it means to be internationally minded. These challenging questions are considered across all areas of the curriculum, including science.

Recently our grade 9 biology students dove into a study of bioethics--the study of controversial ethical issues emerging from new situations and possibilities brought about by advances in biology and medicine. In other words, students researched a new technology or technique in the field of genetics as well as investigating its implications.

For example, a scientist might ask 'How can we genetically modify a mouse to produce human antibodies for use as therapeutics?' while an ethicist might ask 'Should we modify a mouse so that it can produce human antibodies?'

The students demonstrated their understanding and thinking by engaging in a RAFT project, where the student selects the Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. For example, a student could choose to be a World Health Organization professional, presenting their findings to the general public through a video about using genetic tools to fight viral outbreaks like Covid-19.

Our students explored a wide range of topics and presented their findings and positions through a variety of means. Some topics included bringing back extinct species, genetically modifying organisms, and prenatal genetic testing-- some very divisive issues in today's world.

The students were evaluated through the criterion of reflecting on the impact of science. The identification and explanation of the problem, by discussing, communicating and evaluating the ethics of the science used, as well as the documentation of their sources were all part of the evaluation.

Our bioethicists celebrated and shared their findings with their peers and other teachers, providing a chance to show off their work and share their thinking.