Genetic Education for Native Americans (GENA) was a National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)/Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI)-funded educational intervention designed to provide a unique genetics education program for Native American college and university students. A curriculum was developed and implemented in workshops in geographically diverse settings throughout the United States, primarily in conjunction with regional and national scientific conferences that include substantial numbers of Native American attendees. The original curriculum includes 24 objectives and has been offered in two formats, as a 16-hr “comprehensive” program and in briefer workshops (referred to as “customized” hereafter) that are designed to include objectives for selected audiences. Both formats teach sufficient genetics to allow discussion and understanding of the ELSI and cultural issues related to genetics science. This article describes the evaluation findings from our implementation of both formats of the GENA curriculum.
In recent years, there has been a remarkable increase in both the rate of acquiring new information about human genetics and the importance of human genetics for modern health care. As a result, human genetics educators have queried whether the teaching of human genetics in North-American medical schools has kept pace with these increases. To address this question, a survey of these medical schools was undertaken to assess how human geneticists perceive the teaching of human genetics in their respective institutions. The results of the survey, begun and completed in 1985, indicate the following: (1) the teaching of human genetics in medical schools is extremely variable from one institution to another, with some schools having no identifiable human genetics teaching at all; (2) the relevance of human genetics to other basic science and clinical disciplines apparently leads to noncategorical or fragmented teaching of human genetics, which may also contribute to the absence of a specific medical school course in the subject; and (3) there is a need for closer collaboration between human genetics educators and their respective medical school administrators and curriculum committees.
An upper-level genetics research course was developed to expose undergraduates to investigative science. Students are immersed in a research project with the ultimate goal of identifying proteins important for chromosome transmission in mitosis. After mutagenizing yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, students implement a genetic screen that allows for visual detection of mutants with an increased loss of an ADE2-marked yeast artificial chromosome (YAC). Students then genetically characterize the mutants and begin efforts to identify the defective genes in these mutants. While engaged in this research project, students practice a variety of technical skills in both classical and molecular genetics. Furthermore, students learn to collaborate and gain experience in sharing scientific findings with others in the form of written papers, poster presentations, and oral presentations. Previous students indicated that, relative to a traditional laboratory course, this research course improved their understanding of scientific concepts and technical skills and helped them make connections between concepts. Moreover, this course allowed students to experience scientific inquiry and was influential for students as they considered future endeavors.
The Genetics Education Materials (GEM) database, accessible through http://genes-r-us.uthscsa.edu, provides a searchable listing of genetics public policy documents, clinical genetics education materials, and other peer-reviewed genetics publications. This new online database is designed to aid public health policy-makers, state genetics program planners, and health care professionals in locating relevant genetics materials. The GEM database is a project of the National Newborn Screening and Genetics Resource Center (NNSGRC), a cooperative agreement between the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the Health Resources and Services Administration/Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
National educational organizations have called upon scientists to become involved in K–12 education reform. From sporadic interaction with students to more sustained partnerships with teachers, the engagement of scientists takes many forms. In this case, scientists from the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), the Genetics Society of America (GSA), and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) have partnered to organize an essay contest for high school students as part of the activities surrounding National DNA Day. We describe a systematic analysis of 500 of 2443 total essays submitted in response to this contest over 2 years. Our analysis reveals the nature of student misconceptions in genetics, the possible sources of these misconceptions, and potential ways to galvanize genetics education.
Mutagenesis screens and analysis of mutant phenotypes are one of the most powerful approaches for the study of genetics. Yet genetics students often have difficulty understanding the experimental procedures and breeding crosses required in mutagenesis screens and linking mutant phenotypes to molecular defects. Performing these experiments themselves often aids students in understanding the methodology. However, there are limitations to performing genetics experiments in a student laboratory. For example, the generation time of laboratory model organisms is considerable, and a laboratory exercise that involves many rounds of breeding or analysis of many mutants is not often feasible. Additionally, the cost of running a laboratory practical, along with safety considerations for particular reagents or protocols, often dictates the experiments that students can perform. To provide an alternative to a traditional laboratory module, we have used Scenario-Based-Learning Interactive (SBLi) software to develop a virtual laboratory to support a second year undergraduate course entitled “Genetic Analysis.” This resource allows students to proceed through the steps of a genetics experiment, without the time, cost, or safety constraints of a traditional laboratory exercise.
Structured inquiry approaches, in which students receive a Drosophila strain of unknown genotype to analyze and map the constituent mutations, are a common feature of many genetics teaching laboratories. The required crosses frustrate many students because they are aware that they are participating in a fundamentally trivial exercise, as the map locations of the genes are already established and have been recalculated thousands of times by generations of students. We modified the traditional structured inquiry approach to include a novel research experience for the students in our undergraduate genetics laboratories. Students conducted crosses with Drosophila strains carrying P[lacW] transposon insertions in genes without documented recombination map positions, representing a large number of unique, but equivalent genetic unknowns. Using the eye color phenotypes associated with the inserts as visible markers, it is straightforward to calculate recombination map positions for the interrupted loci. Collectively, our students mapped 95 genetic loci on chromosomes 2 and 3. In most cases, the calculated 95% confidence interval for meiotic map location overlapped with the predicted map position based on cytology. The research experience evoked positive student responses and helped students better understand the nature of scientific research for little additional cost or instructor effort.
To support developments in genetics education, we constructed the GPGeneQ questionnaire to assess skills required for the practice of genetics by general practitioners (GPs). We describe the process of developing and validating this questionnaire to provide a detailed guide in the construction for questionnaires in the application of evaluating genetics education. The GPGeneQ was developed through a multi-step process with the initial draft based on a theoretical framework and literature review. The subsequent draft instrument contained three scales pertaining to GPs’ knowledge, self-reported behaviour and attitudes regarding genetics in medicine. Content and ecological validity were measured by an iterative Delphi process involving experts, GPs and consumers of health services. Piloting to assess construct and criterion validity was conducted with a sample of GPs attending an educational workshop that was presented on a number of separate occasions in Victoria, Australia. Results from evaluations of 145 GPs participating in ten workshops revealed evidence for validity and reliability of the GPGeneQ: knowledge change (p < 0.001; CI, −1.63 to −0.68), behaviour change (p < 0.001; CI, −4.15 to −2.21), attitudinal change (p = 0.002; CI...
Exposure to genetic and biochemical experiments typically occurs late in one’s academic career. By the time students have the opportunity to select specialized courses in these areas, many have already developed negative attitudes toward the sciences. Given little or no direct experience with the fields of genetics and biochemistry, it is likely that many young people rule these out as potential areas of study or career path. To address this problem, we developed a 7-week (∼1 hr/week) hands-on course to introduce fifth grade students to basic concepts in genetics and biochemistry. These young students performed a series of investigations (ranging from examining phenotypic variation, in vitro enzymatic assays, and yeast genetic experiments) to explore scientific reasoning through direct experimentation. Despite the challenging material, the vast majority of students successfully completed each experiment, and most students reported that the experience increased their interest in science. Additionally, the experiments within the 7-week program are easily performed by instructors with basic skills in biological sciences. As such, this program can be implemented by others motivated to achieve a broader impact by increasing the accessibility of their university and communicating to a young audience a positive impression of the sciences and the potential for science as a career.
With advances in sequencing technology, widespread and affordable genome
sequencing will soon be a reality. However, studies suggest that “genetic
literacy” of the general public is inadequate to prepare our society for this
unprecedented access to our genetic information. As the current generation of
high school students will come of age in an era when personal genetic
information is increasingly utilized in health care, it is of vital importance
to ensure these students understand the genetic concepts necessary to make
informed medical decisions. These concepts include not only basic scientific
knowledge, but also considerations of the ethical, legal, and social issues that
will arise in the age of personal genomics. In this article, we review the
current state of genetics education, highlight issues that we believe need to be
addressed in a comprehensive genetics education curriculum, and describe our
education efforts at the Harvard Medical School-based Personal Genetics
To help genetics instructors become aware of fundamental concepts that are persistently difficult for students, we have analyzed the evolution of student responses to multiple-choice questions from the Genetics Concept Assessment. In total, we examined pretest (before instruction) and posttest (after instruction) responses from 751 students enrolled in six genetics courses for either majors or nonmajors. Students improved on all 25 questions after instruction, but to varying degrees. Notably, there was a subgroup of nine questions for which a single incorrect answer, called the most common incorrect answer, was chosen by >20% of students on the posttest. To explore response patterns to these nine questions, we tracked individual student answers before and after instruction and found that particular conceptual difficulties about genetics are both more likely to persist and more likely to distract students than other incorrect ideas. Here we present an analysis of the evolution of these incorrect ideas to encourage instructor awareness of these genetics concepts and provide advice on how to address common conceptual difficulties in the classroom.
THE Genetics Society of America’s Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education recognizes significant and sustained impact on genetics education. Consistent with her philosophy of linking research and education, the 2014 Awardee Robin Wright includes undergraduate students in all of her research. She seeks to teach how to think like and to actually be a biologist, working in teams and looking at real-world problems. She emphasizes a learner-centered model of classroom work that promotes and enhances lifelong skills, and has transformed biology education at the University of Minnesota through several efforts including developing the interactive, stimulating Foundations of Biology course sequence, encouraging active learning and open-ended research; supporting the construction of Active Learning Classrooms; and establishing Student Learning Outcomes, standards that measure biology education. She serves as founding editor-in-chief of CourseSource, focusing national effort to collect learner-centered, outcomes-based teaching resources in undergraduate biology.
Fonte: Yale School of MedicinePublicador: Yale School of Medicine
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Relevância na Pesquisa
With advances in sequencing technology, widespread and affordable genome sequencing will soon be a reality. However, studies suggest that “genetic literacy” of the general public is inadequate to prepare our society for this unprecedented access to our genetic information. As the current generation of high school students will come of age in an era when personal genetic information is increasingly utilized in health care, it is of vital importance to ensure these students understand the genetic concepts necessary to make informed medical decisions. These concepts include not only basic scientific knowledge, but also considerations of the ethical, legal, and social issues that will arise in the age of personal genomics. In this article, we review the current state of genetics education, highlight issues that we believe need to be addressed in a comprehensive genetics education curriculum, and describe our education efforts at the Harvard Medical School-based Personal Genetics Education Project.
An elementary course in human heredity for students not planning to major in the sciences can be based on current scientific literature and on the popular media. Examinations are constructed from questions on recent abstracts obtained from PubMed. The course is designed to promote writing skills in the sciences, and students write two papers in the course of a quarter. In the first paper, students trace the primary source of media reports on genetics and attempt to evaluate the reporter's translation. In a second paper, students write popular articles on the basis of current primary sources.
The National Education Commission of the People's Republic of China directs all educational course content from kindergarten to graduate level in all disciplines. The study of genetics is thus controlled by the members of the commission, so there is little variation of course offerings from one institution to another. Formal genetics education begins in lower middle school and is expanded somewhat in upper middle school (high school). Middle school marks the end of the formal education for most Chinese students, although many graduates learn the practical aspects of genetics while working in agricultural plant and animal breeding. Students who continue the study of genetics in universities find that course work is concentrated and research is encouraged, although facilities and supplies are limited. On graduation from a university, most students are sent to factories to use their expertise for increasing food production, while a very small percentage of students continue on to graduate school and eventual research and university teaching. The area of human genetics is handled exclusively in medical schools.
There is strong consensus among educators that training in the ethical and social consequences of science is necessary for the development of students into the science professionals and well-rounded citizens needed in the future. However, this part of the curriculum is not a major focus of most science departments and it is not clear if, or how, students receive this training. To determine the current status of bioethics education of undergraduate biology students in the United States, we surveyed instructors of introductory genetics. We found that there was support for more ethics education both in the general curriculum and in the genetics classroom than is currently being given. Most instructors devote <5% of class time to ethical and social issues in their genetics courses. The majority feels that this is inadequate treatment of these topics and most cited lack of time as a major reason they were unable to give more attention to bioethics. We believe biology departments should take the responsibility to ensure that their students are receiving a balanced education. Undergraduate students should be adequately trained in ethics either within their science courses or in a specialized course elsewhere in the curriculum.
There is continued emphasis on increasing and improving genetics education for grades K–12, for medical professionals, and for the general public. Another critical audience is undergraduate students in introductory biology and genetics courses. To improve the learning of genetics, there is a need to first assess students' understanding of genetics concepts and their level of genetics literacy (i.e., genetics knowledge as it relates to, and affects, their lives). We have developed and evaluated a new instrument to assess the genetics literacy of undergraduate students taking introductory biology or genetics courses. The Genetics Literacy Assessment Instrument is a 31-item multiple-choice test that addresses 17 concepts identified as central to genetics literacy. The items were selected and modified on the basis of reviews by 25 genetics professionals and educators. The instrument underwent additional analysis in student focus groups and pilot testing. It has been evaluated using ∼400 students in eight introductory nonmajor biology and genetics courses. The content validity, discriminant validity, internal reliability, and stability of the instrument have been considered. This project directly enhances genetics education research by providing a valid and reliable instrument for assessing the genetics literacy of undergraduate students.
Medical professionals are increasingly expected to deliver genetic services in daily patient care. However, genetics education is considered to be suboptimal and in urgent need of revision and innovation. We designed a Genetics e-learning Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module aimed at improving general practitioners' (GPs') knowledge about oncogenetics, and we conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the outcomes at the first two levels of the Kirkpatrick framework (satisfaction, learning and behavior). Between September 2011 and March 2012, a parallel-group, pre- and post-retention (6-month follow-up) controlled group intervention trial was conducted, with repeated measurements using validated questionnaires. Eighty Dutch GP volunteers were randomly assigned to the intervention or the control group. Satisfaction with the module was high, with the three item's scores in the range 4.1–4.3 (5-point scale) and a global score of 7.9 (10-point scale). Knowledge gains post test and at retention test were 0.055 (P<0.05) and 0.079 (P<0.01), respectively, with moderate effect sizes (0.27 and 0.31, respectively). The participants appreciated applicability in daily practice of knowledge aspects (item scores 3.3–3.8, five-point scale)...
Since the work of Watson and Crick in the mid-1950s, the science of genetics has become increasingly molecular. The development of recombinant DNA technologies by the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries led to the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). By the end of the twentieth century, reports of animal cloning and recent completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP), as well techniques developed for DNA fingerprinting, gene therapy and others, raised important ethical and social issues about the applications of such technologies. For citizens to understand these issues, appropriate genetics education is needed in schools. A good foundation in genetics also requires knowledge and understanding of topics such as structure and function of cells, cell division, and reproduction. Studies at the international level report poor understanding by students of genetics and genetic technologies, with widespread misconceptions at various levels. Similar studies were nearly absent in India. In this study, I examine Indian higher secondary students' understanding of genetic information related to cells and transmission of genetic information during reproduction. Although preliminary in nature, the results provide cause for concern over the status of genetics education in India. The nature of students' conceptual understandings and possible reasons for the observed lack of understanding are discussed.
While many institutions use a version of the Ames test in the undergraduate genetics laboratory, students typically are not exposed to techniques or procedures beyond qualitative analysis of phenotypic reversion, thereby seriously limiting the scope of learning. We have extended the Ames test to include both quantitative analysis of reversion frequency and molecular analysis of revertant gene sequences. By giving students a role in designing their quantitative methods and analyses, students practice and apply quantitative skills. To help students connect classical and molecular genetic concepts and techniques, we report here procedures for characterizing the molecular lesions that confer a revertant phenotype. We suggest undertaking reversion of both missense and frameshift mutants to allow a more sophisticated molecular genetic analysis. These modifications and additions broaden the educational content of the traditional Ames test teaching laboratory, while simultaneously enhancing students' skills in experimental design, quantitative analysis, and data interpretation.