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Of pigs and men - Understanding students' reasoning about the use of pigs as donors for xenotransplantation
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9132-8615
2010 (English)In: Science & Education, ISSN 0926-7220, E-ISSN 1573-1901, Vol. 19, no 9, p. 867-894Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Education has a role in society to provide students with knowledge for their democratic participation in society as well as for a future profession. In science education, students encounter values that may be in conflict with their worldview. Such conflicts may for example lead to constructive reflections as well as rejection of scientific knowledge and technology. Students' ways of reasoning are important starting points for discussing problematic issues and may be crucial for constructive dialogues in the classroom. This study investigates students' reasoning about conflicting values concerning the human-animal relationship exemplified with the use of genetically modified pigs as organ donors for xenotransplantation. Students’ reasoning is analyzed using Giddens’ concepts of disembedded and embedded practices in parallel with moral philosophical theories in a framework based on human-animal relationships. Thirteen students were interviewed and their stances categorized. Kantian deontological and classical utilitarian ethics were found within the patronage and the partnership models. These students appreciated expert knowledge but those using the partnership model could not accept xenotransplantation if pigs were to be killed. Students using care ethics did not appreciate expert knowledge since it threatened naturalness. The results suggest that stances against the use of scientific knowledge are more problematic than knowledge per se, and that conflicting stances have similarities that present opportunities for understanding and development of students’ argumentation skills for future participation in societal discourse on utilizing expert knowledge. Furthermore it is suggested that science education could benefit from a higher awareness of the presence of different morals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2010. Vol. 19, no 9, p. 867-894
Keywords [en]
science education, animal, ethics, morals, socio-scientific issues, gene technology
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Natural Science, Science Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-7820DOI: 10.1007/s11191-010-9238-yScopus ID: 2-s2.0-77955556097OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-7820DiVA, id: diva2:345763
Available from: 2010-08-27 Created: 2010-08-27 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Lindahl, Mats

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf