Click here for a deeper conversation on this topic led by Hastings Director of Research Josephine Johnston.
Teaching Bioethics at the Secondary School Level
Bioethics topics are perfect for high school but challenging to teach
Recognition that it is both possible and important to teach secondary school students about bioethics issues and theory has grown slowly within the field of bioethics. In the late 1970s and 1980s, a few first-generation pioneers recognized the teaching and learning opportunities inherent in bioethics and obtained pilot grants to educate high school teachers about bioethics issues. In the 1990s and 2000s, second-generation efforts explored the possibilities of bioethics in secondary schools using a range of approaches, models, and funding sources. A third generation of programs that are now emerging benefits from more stable funding, offers materials that may be accessed by teachers across a country or around the world, and often represents programs endorsed by national entities. An historical overview of these efforts to teach bioethics in high schools highlights some essential steps that must be taken to meet the challenge of teaching bioethics in pre-college settings.