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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 97 / 115





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Bioethics Education627

Innovative Technique of Introducing Bioethics – Programmed Instructions

- M.A. Jothi Rajan1, Arockiam Thaddeus2, T.S.Vivekanandam3, S. Umapathy4, S.Jeyakumar.5.

1. FDP Research Scholar, School of Physics, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai

2. Dept. of Zoology, Jeyaraj Annapackiam College for Women, Periyakulam,

3. School of Chemistry, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai,

4. School of Physics, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai5. Dept. of Physics, RKM Vivekananda College, Chennai, INDIA

Email: anjellojothi@yahoo.co.in


Education, to be worthy of its name, must encompass not only information, concepts and facts but also attitudes and values.  “Bioethics” is a discipline that encompasses all positive attitudes and values of life based on mutual love.  This is all the more today in view of the widespread confusion and questioning of traditional values and culture.  And areas of confusion and conflict abound: politics, religion, family, marriage, friends, love and sex, drugs, materialism, caste, creed, school, leisure time and many more.  Our young people will have to make innumerable value-laden decisions and choices and face the many dilemmas of life-in their personal life, professional life, social life and family life.  It is important that they acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, while they are still young.  They should be alerted early in life about the problems and situations, rather than postpone the confrontation to a time when career and family pressures may not allow the necessary careful and objective reflection.  The question now is how do we go about helping our young children in the process of bioethics education and development.

Bioethical values are caught and taught

Teaching values through moralizing and advising seems not so effective today, because the young person in bombarded with different, often contradictory, sets of values. His or her parents offer one set of moralizations, his or her school teachers, might have a different set of values, which are forced upon him or her and his or her religion proposes yet another set of moralizations. The communications media-internet, television, radio, magazines and newspaper-literally bombard the young person with all sorts of stimuli and inputs about what dress to wear, and what type of life to follow. The hidden message is clear. This is how you should think, and act if you are going to get ahead, be successful, impress your superiors and have sex appeal. Then, there is the peer group, one of the most influential moralizing forces: “If you want to belong and to be a accepted, here’s what you think and how you act”. Add to these forces the political leaders, film stars, sports figures, pop starts, each adding to the confusion with a set of new moralizations and you have the dilemma of the young person today.

We have tried to teach bioethics, but we realize in a world of confusion and conflict about values, this is not effective enough. Then what can we do? Since, ultimately no set of values we teach or impose can solve the dilemmas of the unknown future, the best thing we can do is to help our young people to develop their own values system, of course giving a set of guiding, expertise principles for their basic support. And today there are powerful teaching strategies,   that can be used to facilitate the process of bioethics education and development and clarification.

Since the bioethics commission has framed the curriculum for various stages of school education and college and higher education with broader outlook towards all living beings on earth, now it is our bounden duty to introduce the study material in effective ways. In this article I shall explain one of the scientifically developed method to implement and subject for children namely “Individualized Instructions”.  I shall highlight the salient features of this teaching technique and write down a model programme using programmed instruction unit from bioethics

. pp. 627-632 in Macer, DRJ., ed., "Challenges for Bioethics from Asia" (Eubios Ethics Institute, 2004).

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