Debates in Teaching Bioethics

Katerina Kedraka, Yiannis Kourkoutas


In this small scale study in higher education, a good educational practice on the teaching of Bioethics based on
transformative learning and accomplished by debates is presented. The research was carried out in June 2016 at the
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece and it includes the
assessment of the debating experience by the students participating in the course. The research followed the
qualitative method and data was collected by free association through a single question posed to students, asking
them to critically reflect on their debating experience. Content analysis was used for analyzing their responses.
Debates seem to be a good practice for teaching Bioethics, since it leads to transformative learning for the future
scientists, as it is highlighted by the students’ views. They strongly state that they were highly interested and
motivated by their participation in debates, an active teaching method that promotes the development of critical
thinking, questioning, processing and presentation of scientific data, as well as the improvement of communication
and cooperation skills. The most significant finding, though, was the critical reflection that young students reached
regarding the subtle, difficult ethical issues of Biosciences.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Katerina Kedraka, Yiannis Kourkoutas

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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