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KIE program head publishes on teaching bioethics at the secondary school level

KIE Head of Academic Programs Laura Bishop was published in 2015 September-October issue of the Hastings Center Report. The paper was co-authored with Lola Szobota, a former science supervisor for the State of New Jersey and current lead teacher on the KIE High School Bioethics Curriculum Project.

The paper provides a historical overview of efforts to teach bioethics in high schools, describes the substantial contributions and limitations of each of the second-generation programs with which the authors have the greatest familiarity, highlights some third-generation efforts and developments, and identifies some essential steps that must be taken to meet the challenge of teaching bioethics in pre-college settings. (A full list of efforts to teach bioethics at high school can be found here.)

By nature, bioethics issues offer an innovative way to engage students in the subjects traditionally taught in high schools; teach them a range of skills, including research, argumentation, writing, and public speaking; and expose them to a variety of career opportunities. Bioethics is accessible to students across the range of learning abilities and often rouses new interest in a subject. Discussions about bioethics issues permit teachers and students to engage one another in genuine conversations about issues for which there usually is no one right answer and about topics on which all participants are learning and thinking together.