Hi, tonight’s ASEchat is about teaching Stem Cells. Unfortunately I will be out at 8pm when it starts which is a shame as I like teaching Stem Cells so I thought I’d throw down some things that I do and resources I use for anyone to have a look at and use/steal/ignore as appropriate.
Here is a PowerPoint that I use for teaching Stem Cells, it is a long one as after the science bit there is a section on ethics.
This was written by the College Chaplain when I worked in Portsmouth. The pre 2008 Salter’s Biology had a learning objective that specifically had religion mentioned so I thought it would be good to get someone who was theologically trained to help deliver the lesson. I was lucky that the Chaplain was CoE and was very relaxed and groovy and enjoyed discussing things with the students, playing devils advocate and allowing them to express whatever views they wanted so long as they could justify them. As you can see from the presentation he didn’t just focus on Christian values too which was good. I know a lot of people would not want a member of the clergy in a science lesson and I guess it does depend on who you get, maybe I was lucky. I also got an A2 RS class visiting that lesson too as they needed to do the ethics of stem cells but the teacher was worried about getting the science right so it was a win-win situation for her.
This is a little discussion activity I run as a way to promote students thinking about both sides of an argument. Remember in the exam they may have to argue from a position they don’t necessarily believe in.
If you are not confident with getting the students talking about ethics then this Science UpD8 activity ‘The Simpletons‘ is a good way to introduce the main ethical frameworks.
This is a copy of The Wellcome Trust’s Lab Notes on Stem Cells. It’s from 2003 so is a bit out of date.
The Big Picture Cell Special from Jan 2011 is a bit more current.
There have been a few BBC Horizons which have had a little bits on Stem Cells which is worth a google to see what’s on youtube, this one Fix Me from 2009 is excellent (cough). Also Katie: The Science of Seeing Again (C4) from Feb this year is very good.
So that’s all I can think about at the moment, sorry I’m not there to join in that chat as Stem Cells is something I’m fascinated about and I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks. There always seems to be something in the news about Stem Cells (case in point today) every couple of weeks so it is an excellent way to get relevant biology into the classroom and stress the important of being a scientifically literate citizen. I attended a lecture by Dr Stephen Minger on stem cells where he talked about the responsibility scientists have to society to work ethically and within the law. I remember specially how he said that regulation was important in science as it ensure that the science was carried out correctly and could be repeated and verified.