Developing accessible education resources
Wednesday 27 July 2011, 9:00am - 10:20am


This session was structured to identify avenues for improving education on “Social Issues in Genetic Technologies.” Educators who come to the Tarrytown Meeting are refining students’ critical perspectives on genetic tech in their own classrooms. How can this work be expanded into classrooms where this material is not covered or inadequately addressed? External efforts to improve classroom experiences are essential for promoting widespread critical engagement with genetic technology. By examining existing models of educational improvement, we can begin developing methods best suited for issues of present concern.

Presentations on Educational Improvement Methods

Participants who are familiar with, and have directly contributed to, educational improvement efforts outside of the classroom presented on these models. The goal was to identify key procedural elements for successfully employing the discussed methods. Relevant resources were provided ahead of time via the Tarrytown website and compiled in a handout. The topics presented were:

  • Lobbying for, or otherwise guiding, policy change in state educational requirements
  • “Teaching teachers:” Short courses designed to improve the tools used, and topics covered, by educators in a specific field.
  • Creating and using accessible film, text, and web-based curriculum supplements
  • Overcoming science faculty misperceptions and developing collaborations
  • Institutional Consultation: helping a school comply with funding requirements
  • Guest Lecturing: Giving several school-wide presentations on contemporary topics

Discussion Toward Writing a Report

After presentations, the floor discussed the proposed models and how they can be effectively coordinated. This discussion laid the groundwork for a report detailing implementation of vehicles for promoting critical engagement in education forums. This also offered an opportunity for participants to express interest in potential collaborations.

Questions to guide discussion included:

  • How can these methods be advertised/made attractive to potential forums?
  • How can the various methods be coordinated with each other?
  • What further research is needed before these efforts can be effectively executed?
    • IE, research on current education laws, surveys of educator strategies and beliefs, methods of access to classrooms, student engagement techniques

In the months following the Tarrytown Meeting, a report will be compiled demonstrating current gaps in relevant education and proposing means for filling them. This report will invite the development of resources and the establishment of roles for design and delivery.

Documents Related to This Session

Gen-ethics Network (GeN) Berlin/Germany
Submitted by: Susanne Schultz