Whilst some may mourn the end of summer, for many of us September is an exciting time which still brings out the first day of school jitters along with a sudden enthusiasm for new stationery, new shoes, and new knowledge.
The beginning of term seems a good time to put the spotlight on a perhaps less well known aspect of the Council’s work – that of promoting bioethics education and discussion of bioethics among young people.
Established in 2003, our Education Advisory Group – a great team of teachers, Council members, and others from the education sector – meets regularly to develop activities for use in and out of the classroom to get young people (and teachers!) exploring ethical issues in the biosciences.
This has resulted in a range of different initiatives, including talks in schools, workshops, and theatre projects in collaboration with organisations such as Y Touring. But first and foremost has been the production of teaching materials that build on the Council’s work on a range of topics.
Currently, resources on the following themes are available to download:
- Organ and tissue donation
- Case studies in ‘personalised healthcare’
- Exploring ethical issues in dementia
- The forensic use of bioinformation
- The use of animals in research
These resources have been designed with students at Key Stage 3-4 in mind but could also be used for other age groups or purposes. They typically include background information, case studies, and a range of activities including role play, quiz and debate.
We have done our best to make these resources useful, informative, unbiased and relevant for students and teachers alike. But who are we to judge? If you are a teacher, we would really like to hear from you about how you have used, or think you might use, these resources, and if you have ideas for ways we could improve them. For example, we would be interested to find out:
- Are sets of materials around a topic such as the above useful, or would you prefer shorter activities that could be used independently?
- Does it help you if we have identified links to the curriculum in the materials?
Any thoughts you might have would be welcome – please feel free to comment on this article, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.