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Education: Methods

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Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics


The improvements in science and technology attracted attention to the ethical impact of these innovations on humans, the environment, and animals. The need to combine the science of biology with the preservation of human values and to make living being’s future come up to what it could conceivably be became an important issue. Bioethics education came developed to meet this challenge. The popularity of bioethics education grew parallel with the flourishing of the “bioethics concept.” Universities, international organizations, and companies incorporated bioethics education into their curricula in various levels from undergraduate, graduate, to postgraduate. These initiatives as well as short-term courses and short-range programs focusing on particular aspects of bioethics became available. A variety of methods are used to teach bioethics education. Seminars, lectures, and tutorials are the most frequent conventional methodology of bioethics education. More interactive and participatory methods such as case studies, role-plays, out-of-class writing assignments, personal reflection presentations, peer presentations, and peer education became more popular with improvements in the field of adult education. With the emergence of Internet networks, distance learning, web-based learning, and computer-assisted learning methods appear to be new methods with the dual advantage of eliminating obstacles arising from students living in remote geographical areas and limiting financial constraints on the trainees. Although there have been substantial improvements in bioethics education, challenges still exist. The diversity and controversy in approaches to bioethics education regarding objectives, methods, content, and evaluation of teaching are major challenges for bioethics education. Despite this diversity in approaches, there are some well-established bioethics education programs which may serve as examples. The COMEST report 2003 has listed some well-established bioethics education programs. The UNESCO Observatory database holds detailed information about bioethics courses worldwide, in five different languages. The UNESCO database provides the opportunity to compare these courses on several factors such as level of education, context of courses, entry requirements for trainees, course languages, total number of teaching hours, and methodology of the programs.

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Correspondence to Perihan Elif Ekmekçi or Berna Arda .

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Ekmekçi, P.E., Arda, B. (2016). Education: Methods. In: ten Have, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer, Cham.

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