On including bioethics in school programs: the results of a survey
The reflection about bioethical issues has overcome the boundaries of bio-medical research and clinical assistance, and has increasingly involved also public opinion, which shows controversial feeling under the urging and puzzling influence of media information. Besides contingent news, however, the treatment of bioethics issues requires specific skills, continuity, and the inclusion in specific areas of new generations0 educational programs. In other words, it is important to support bioethical culture, that is, an education directed bioethics. For this reason, the fundamental educational structure represented by schools has been asked to give its contribution by means of an Agreement Protocol stipulated between the Italian Ministry of Education and the National Committee of Bioethics in 1999, regarding the permanent inclusion of bioethics in Italian school system.
Given such preliminary remarks, the Author provides the reader with the results of a survey into the opinion of teachers about including bioethics in primary, secondary and high schools (motivations, programs, ethical guidelines, educational methods etc.) The analysis has been performed on over one thousand teachers coming from schools of any level and from all over the Country.
Among other results, the inquiry reveals that: the 95% of the teachers considers the inclusion of bioethics in school programs with educational purposes useful; the 66% thinks it would be necessary to specify the ethical frame work, in accordance with family (83%); the 61% maintains that bioethical education should be accomplished by teachers, therefore integrated in school programs without gaps (71%).
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