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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 76 / 115

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606Challenges for Bioethics from Asia

Trials in the Middle School Attached to Beijing Normal University

- Jing Zhuo, M.Sc. .

Dean, Biology Department, Beijing Normal University Attached Middle School, Beijing, CHINA  

Email: zhuojingo@sina.com

This presentation will describe the trials of chapters from the International Bioethics Textbook in classes at the Middle School of the Beijing Normal University.  Biology teachers who spoke English taught the course. The number of students was limited to 30 in order to facilitate discussion. The class met every Wednesday afternoon from 3:45 to 4:45 pm.  The method used was discussion and explanation.

The 13 trials were as follows: Making choices, diversity and bioethics by Baoqi Su; Genetic privacy and information by Jinhua Fu; Brain death by Li Kuang; Organ donation by Yuan Yu; Animal rights by Lei Li; Ecotourism by Jianzhi Li; AIDS and Ethics by Jing Zhuo; Assisted reproductive technology by Jinhua Fu; Genetically modified foods by Yongmei Gu; Telling the truth about terminal cancer by Li Kuang; Euthanasia by Jing Zhuo; Testing for cancer gene susceptibility by Yuan Yu and Sustainable Development by Jianzhi Li. The dates are in Table 1.

Table: Round 1 of Chinese trials of the project

chapter

Teacher

Date (Month/day)

1Making choices,diversity and bioethics

Baoqi Su

9.10

2.Genetic privacy and information

Jinhua Fu

9.17

3.Brain Death

Li Kuang

9.24

4.Organ donation

Yuan yu

10.8

5.Animal rights

Lei Li

10.22

6.Ecotourism

Jianzhi Li

11.5

7.AIDS and Ethics

Jing Zhuo

11.12

8.Assisted reproductive technology

Jinhua Fu

11.19

9.Genetically modified foods

Yongmei Gu

11.26

10.Telling the truth about terminal cancer

Li Kuang

12.3

11.Euthanasia

Jing Zhuo

12.10

12.Testing for cancer gene susceptibility

Yuan yu

12.17

13.Sustainable development

Jianzhi Li

12.24

The teachers were able to achieve establishing a platform that enabled them to cooperate with foreign counterparts by exchanging experiences in teaching these chapters.  The background knowledge necessary to understand most chapters is also part of teaching materials used for senior middle school biology courses. The current materials in China also incorporate issues such as brain death and animal rights that have implications on the interrelationships found in science, technology and society. The course was new for teachers. Therefore we studied hard, collected a lot of materials, and found the courage to discard old ideas and to bring forth new ones. The course was also designed in line with the conditions in China.

As for the students, the course broadened their horizons and helped them in developing a new understanding about the world and society.  The course also made the students understand the relation of science, technology and society through case discussions.  Many students went back home to discuss with their parents what they had learned from the course.  In this way, they were able to find out what their parents thought and this enhanced communication between students and their parents.  Furthermore, the course improved the English reading skills of the students.  They were also able to experience seven different teaching styles.  We suggest that the choice of the chapter should be in accordance with the times as well as be in line with the conditions of the country where the trials will be done.

. pp. 606-607 in Macer, DRJ., ed., "Challenges for Bioethics from Asia" (Eubios Ethics Institute, 2004).

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