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TEDxOverlake - Merilee Wilmore - An Informal Education

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Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Revlin, R. Human Reasoning. Washington, DC: Winston. Voss, J. Informal Reasoning and Education. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. I think it is wrong for someone to be able to determine your intelligence. That has moral and ethical issues attached to it.

No, this one is really weird. This would be really bad. If they do not have education, then of course they are not going to be intelligent, but everyone who has education usually has pretty good intelligence. And they can make their own decisions. If you just change the gene, then everyone would be thinking the same way. I do not think it is natural. I cannot really pinpoint [a reason] because I am having trouble with this. It does not seem right—that was my initial reaction.


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It just does not seem right. I do not know how to expound on that. This seems to be getting closer to maybe you can make it a personal choice. I would not want to do it but other people can. I would lean toward making it a personal choice. It is not my right to tell people how they should live. I think it is a little weird! If other people want to do it, then I think they should do it. People have a right to do it. Personally, I would not, but they should have a right to do it. What kind of woman would be willing to—I guess they are just giving themselves up for a month.

And they just take the stem cells out and that is it. I feel bad for people who need organs and organ transplants and maybe it would help a lot but at the same time it is not natural at all. There are organ donors out there naturally and they are going to die and something is going to happen so that they can give up their organs. Something like this, I would not agree with. We are telling her that she cannot have [her baby] and we are telling her that she cannot have anything left of her husband because she could not have another baby with him.

Cloning—cloning a whole human and cloning whole organisms is still—maybe it is just the fact that our minds are not used to it maybe it is just the fact that this is new—maybe in time people will accept it, but me personally I cannot support it, not right now. Cloning also causes problems in terms of diversity. The diversity of genetic material has brought us to where we are. Whether you believe in evolution or not, even today there are isolated cases of survival of the fittest. The percentages, listed in parentheses, represent the proportion of individuals who displayed a particular mode of informal reasoning.

The data suggested greater context dependence for emotive and intuitive informal reasoning. Whereas emotive reasoning fluctuated greatly among the gene therapy scenarios, the frequency of its use remained relatively high across all of the cloning scenarios. These patterns suggest that emotive reasoning varied by issue i. Almost one third of the sample, in response to the intelligence gene therapy scenario, and one half of the sample, in response to the reproductive and deceased child cloning scenarios, relied on intuitive reasoning.

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The Role of Morality and Ethics Consistent with previous studies of socioscientific decision making, the participants in this investigation tended to perceive moral and ethical implications of the issues presented to them. So yes, I took that into consideration. For other ones [scenarios]—like the accident [DC] one—I just think that would hurt everyone in the long run.

You have a responsibility to another life. The participants integrated moral concerns with all other factors that contributed to their negotiation of the issues, including social factors and personal experiences. Informal reasoning seemed to meander between moral and nonmoral factors and, in the cases of many participants, it became impossible to distinguish between the two. However, this analysis suggests that attempts to isolate morality, and by extension personal or social factors, as a guiding factor in the determination of positions regarding socioscientific issues are misguided.

Decision making influences, including morality, personal experiences, emotive factors, and social considerations, are subsumed in more complex patterns of informal reasoning. In response to gene therapy and cloning dilemmas, the participants in this study engaged in three distinct informal reasoning patterns: rationalistic; emotive; and intuitive. All participants exhibited at least one instance in which they relied on more than one pattern of informal reasoning to resolve an issue.

Sometimes one pattern of reasoning supported another and, in other cases, two patterns exerted divergent influences. The display of multiple reasoning patterns was due at least in part to the recognition of the various perspectives that can influence positions taken in response to socioscientific scenarios. The evidence produced suggests that the informal reasoning patterns invoked are related to the context of the socioscientific scenarios. Even though all of the scenarios involved genetic engineering, the incidence of emotive and intuitive reasoning seemed to vary among scenarios.

Rationalistic reasoning remained relatively high for all scenarios. The present study corroborates the significance of context, especially for socioscientific decision making, a result further supported by Korpan et al. Educational Implications A few recommendations for science education can be made based on these findings. This study empirically demonstrates the significance of morality embedded in the informal reasoning processes of indi- vidual decision makers.

It stands to reason that continued exposure to socioscientific decision- making opportunities will provide students chances to explicitly explore their own principles, emotions, and intuitions pertinent to science and its social applications. This can only enhance their roles as citizen participants in democratic societies largely influenced by science and technology. Second, if educators want to encourage a particular mode of informal reasoning, they can select certain socioscientific issues based on context. This does not indicate that every sample of students will display the same pattern, but based on experiences with his or her students the teacher may be able to frame socioscientific issues in a manner that encourages different modes of informal reasoning.

Finally, if socioscientific issues, particularly genetic engineering issues, are incorporated in science curricula and classrooms, then designers and educators need to make room for the expression of affect. Rationalistic thinking patterns typify what is generally expected in science classrooms, and educators frequently strive to ensure the development of rationalistic thinking skills Tweney, However, the results of this study suggest that rationalistic informal reasoning is only one of three ways that students might relate to socioscientific issues.

Students may adopt relational perspectives based on empathy and care; in addition, they might be most influenced by their immediate, intuitive reactions. For students to be personally engaged in socioscientific issues presented in the classroom, they need an opportunity to express their personal ideas about the issues or at least need an environment in which their patterns of thought are valued. One of the rationales offered to support the development and implementation of socioscientific curricula is the tendency for this material to truly engage students Cajas, If this is a goal, then educators must be prepared to consider and respect the manners in which students negotiate these issues, even when that includes patterns of reasoning not typically associated with science.

If issues are presented only from a rationalistic perspective, which has been a hallmark of science education Pool, ; Tweney, , then many students are being excluded. The intuitive reactions, emotions, and reason-based concerns of students should be valued in the classroom. This recommendation is not meant to imply that students should not be challenged to consider the basis of their intuitive, emotive, and rationalistic reasoning patterns; in fact, they should. Educators can encourage their students to explore their own informal reasoning without prescribing a particular mode of reasoning by setting up a classroom environment in which only one type of informal reasoning is valued.

This suggestion introduces an interesting paradox for practitioners: How should we encourage natural patterns of affective expression in the context of SSI while promoting the primacy of evidence, which is central to the epistemology of science McComas et al. It is not difficult to imagine this challenge arising in a biology class that addresses cloning and evolution.

By encouraging emotional responses to cloning scenarios in the context of a science classroom, do we implicitly suggest that other science topics, such as evolution, are also subject to emotion? We actually see this potential conundrum as an opportunity as opposed to an obstacle. It presents an opportunity to explore the nature of science, particularly the social aspects of science, the status of evidence, and the role of values in science.

An important lesson that might emerge from the example just mentioned is that socioscientific decision making is a fundamentally different task than evaluating the merits of a scientific theory. By explicitly attending to the distinct influences of values and evidence, SSI curriculum can actually facilitate student conceptualizations of scientific data, inferences, and theory generation.

Implications for Research To develop a more robust understanding of how individuals of all ages negotiate socio- scientific issues, and if informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues demonstrates developmental trends, future work designed to explore the reasoning patterns of other target populations is necessary.

Given the contextual significance of individual scenarios in the elicitation of multiple reasoning patterns, the exploration of reasoning in response to other socioscientific issues is also necessary. Although the scenarios used in this study all stemmed from a common content area i. To enhance the transferability of the findings reported herein, similar analyses must be completed with issues other than gene therapy and cloning.

Scenarios that stem from content areas other than biology, such as nuclear power, global warming, and the search for extraterrestrial life, would be particularly useful in establishing a more generalized model of socioscientific decision making.

Reasoning - naluzelale.tk

Although the three forms of informal reasoning i. Given the unique status of intuitive informal reasoning, future studies should be undertaken to address whether intuitive reasoning possesses distinctive practical implications. For instance, the manner in which individuals handle evidence that conflicts with their intuitive reactions as well as the extent to which students are personally engaged by the issues that elicit these strong reactions would be valuable foci for future studies.

As a final call for new directions in the field, we believe that science educators should use the findings presented in this study as well as other theoretically motivated investigations i. How to best achieve these ends presents an important research agenda, an agenda with difficult methodo- logical issues and complicated and uncontrollable variables.

It has not yet been used in humans. The intent of gene therapy would be to remove an undesirable gene and replace it with a preferred gene. Its symptoms usually start between the ages of 35 and The first symptoms include uncontrollable body spasms and cognitive impairment. As the disease progresses, patients become physically incapacitated, suffer from emotional instability, and eventually lose mental faculties.

HD usually runs its course over a period of 15—20 years and always results in death. No conventional treatments are known to work against HD. Should gene therapy be used to eliminate HD from sex cells egg cells or sperm cells that will be used to create new human offspring? Near-sightedness Gene Therapy Prompt Near-sightedness is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Near-sightedness, also known as myopia, manifests in blurred distance vision.

Interventions such as eyeglasses, contacts, and corrective surgery are frequently used to treat this condition. If science found a single gene that produced near-sightedness, should gene therapy be used to eliminate that gene from sex cells egg cells or sperm cells that will be used to create human offspring? Cloning Description The process of cloning is designed to produce an organism genetically identical to another organism. In the normal process of mammalian reproduction, genetic material from an egg cell and a sperm cell combine during fertilization to produce a new genetic combination.

The new genetic makeup of the offspring is distinct from both parents. The fertilized egg cell will eventually develop into a new offspring. In cloning, the genetic material of an unfertilized egg cell is removed, and a complete set of genetic material from a donor is inserted into the egg cell. The donor genetic material can be relatively easily obtained from most body cells e. The cloned offspring would be genetically identical to the donor organism. Reproductive Cloning Prompt Many otherwise healthy couples are unable to bear children. Modern reproductive technologies like fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization have enabled some of these individuals to have their own children.

However, some couples remain infertile and unable to have a baby. For these individuals, cloning could be used as another reproductive technology. In this case, one of the parents would serve as the genetic donor. The embryo would develop into a fetus and eventually be born as a baby. Should individuals who want to carry and have their own children be able to choose cloning as a reproductive option? Deceased Child Cloning Prompt A couple and their newborn child their only child are involved in a terrible automobile accident. The father dies at the scene of the accident, and the baby is severely injured.

The mother sustains only minor cuts and bruises. At the hospital, doctors inform the mother that her baby will undoubtedly die within a matter of days. The woman wants to raise a child that is the product of her now deceased husband and herself. She would like to take cell samples from her dying child so that she can carry and give birth to a genetic clone of the child.

Should this woman be able to produce a clone of her dying baby? Therapeutic Cloning Prompt Thus far, you have read about and discussed reproductive cloning. Although the technology and initial procedures involved in therapeutic and reproductive cloning are similar, the end- products and applications are different.

In therapeutic cloning, a cloned embryo is created and stimulated so that it begins growing. Just like reproductive cloning, this involves inserting the genetic material of a donor into an egg cell so that the resulting embryo is genetically identical to the donor. The embryo would continue to develop until it has formed stem cells. This ordinarily occurs within 3 weeks of the time the embryo starts growing. At this point, the stem cells would be removed from the embryo. Stem cells are unique because they can be stimulated to develop into many different types of body tissues.

Two major problems are associated with organ transplantation: a lack of available organs, and immunological rejection. There are far more patients waiting for transplants than there are donated organs. In addition, the immune systems of patients who actually receive transplants often reject the transplanted organ because the body recognizes it as a foreign substance. Organs and tissues produced by means of therapeutic cloning would solve both of these problems. Patients awaiting transplants could donate their own genetic material for the production of the cloned embryo. Because the resulting tissue or organ would carry the same genetic material as the patient, the immune system would not reject it.

Should therapeutic cloning be used to develop tissues for patients who need transplants such as individuals suffering from fatal kidney disease? Similar questions modified according to the content of each scenario were asked after participants read each scenario prompt: 1. Why or why not?

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How would you convince a friend or acquaintance of your position? If necessary Is there anything else you might say to prove your point? Can you think of an argument that could be made against the position that you have just described? How could someone support that argument? If someone confronted you with that argument, what could you say in response?

How would you defend your position against that argument? If necessary Is there anything else you might say to prove that you are right? Similar questions modified according to content were asked regarding the deceased child cloning scenario: 1. Did you know your position on the issue before you had to consciously reflect on the issue? In arriving at you decision, did you consider the perspective or feelings of anyone involved in the scenario? If so, how did this affect your decision making?

Did you try to put yourself in the place of either a potential parent or child? Do you think that gene therapy as described in this case is subject to any kind of moral rules or principles? Did you consider the responsibility of parents? If so, what are the responsibilities of the parents in this scenario? Did you consider the rights of the future child? Did you think about the roles and responsibilities of the doctors who would perform the gene therapy?

Did you consider possible side effects for either the mother or the potential child.


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Were you concerned with any technological issues associated with gene therapy? If so, what issues did you think about? Did you think about who would have access to gene therapy? Is there anything else that I might know about your thinking process or decision making as you considered this gene therapy issue? References Abd-El-Khalick, F. The nature of science and instructional practice: Making the unnatural natural. Science Education, 82, — Adams, S. Use of a computer environment to analyze the coherence of argumentation about policies proposed to ameliorate global warming.

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