Developing a Bioethics Curriculum for the High School
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The thesis was designed using the alternative curriculum development method rather than the traditional research of a problem. The curriculum is based on the recently developed field of bioethics and is specifically designed for use in the public high school. The rationale and purpose for using bioethics in the high school, among other things, is that it helps foster critical and analytical thought. Using the lifelong learning standards and benchmarks as the instrument of assessment, the curriculum is designed for others in the social science field to use as a guide for teaching bioethics and enhancing critical thinking and communication skills in students. Within the curriculum are instructional strategies of debate, classroom discussion, case studies, and cooperative learning. In addition to the lifelong learning standards and benchmarks, there are individual assessment instruments for particular lessons included in the curriculum. Materials, resources, and a rationale for their selection are also included. Finally, a theoretical foundation in moral development and learning theory using Kohlberg, Dewey, Piaget, and others, are also included in the thesis. In addition to the methods, theories, and materials included in the curriculum, the thesis contains a five-unit guide with 44 individual lessons to be administered during the course. The materials used in the lessons are included as well as directions for how one can replicate the lessons in the classroom. Lastly, as an alternative thesis that deals with the development of a curriculum, the actual implementation and assessment of the curriculum are beyond the scope of this thesis and are therefore recommended to others for further study and research.
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