Part of Unit: Ethical, Moral, Legal, and Cultural Issues
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
This lesson will utilize an AVID WICR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Reading) strategy called Socratic Seminar, to discuss the bioethical issues involved with the transplantation of fetal tissue for various uses in the biotechnology field.
- Two class periods of
- 60 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- HSMT.FS.11.0 Demonstration and Application
- HSMT.FS.2.0 Communications
- HSMT.FS.8.4 Understand the ways in which ethical considerations affect emerging technologies...
- HSMT.FS.9.5 Understand how to interact with others in ways that demonstrate respect for indi...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.LS.2.5a Deliver persuasive arguments (including evaluation and analysis of problems and ...
- ELA.9-10.LS.2.5c Deliver persuasive arguments that clarify and defend positions with precise and ...
- ELA.9-10.LS.2.5d Deliver persuasive arguments that anticipate and address the listener's concerns...
- ELA.9-10.LS.C.1.1 Formulate judgments about the ideas under discussion and support those judgments...
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis...3
California Standards for the Teaching Profession
Objectives and Goals
- Students will identify and explain how fetal tissue transplantation could radically alter the treatment of genetically inherited disorders (including Diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer's Disease - which are not directly inherited, but research has shown a correlation with family prevalence).
- Students will identify the ethical, legal, social, and cultural issues that contribute to the controversial nature of the topic.
- Students will participate in a Socratic Seminar to discuss the issues, as well as submit prior knowledge/beliefs, reflection pieces, and evaluative measures of the process.
Activities in this Lesson
- Anticipatory Set - Hooks / Set
*Prior to the implementation of this lesson, it will be important to check your district's policy and California Education Code requirements under Ed. Code 51903-51939. Since pictures of anatomical body parts are included in the lesson Education Code (51938) states that "Parents must be notified and have the right to excuse their child from all or part of comprehensive sexual health instruction." (1) "Advise the parent or guradian that written and audiovisual educational materials used in comprehensive sexual health and/or HIV/AIDS instruction are available for inspection." (4) "Advise the parent or guardian that the parent or guardian may request in writing that his or her child not receive comprehensive sexual health education or HIV/AIDS prevention education."
While the students are filing in during passing period, have an automated looping slide show of the history of genetic technology and genetically inherited diseases, the basic information (symptoms, prognosis, *WARNING* This slideshow has actual photos of patients with Kleinfelter's Syndrome - including genitalia - feel free to edit the slide as you deem necessary for your student population. Do not mention treatment options at this point). After the bell rings, ask the students to compose a quick write about what they know of biotechnological advances for treating these disorders. Give them about 5 minutes and then ask students to volunteer to share out their ideas. Using a big piece of butcher paper, write the students' ideas down as a class response. Use this time to transition into direct instruction regarding fetal tissue transplants and the bioethical considerations it encompasses.
- Genetic Disorders Slideshow [ Download ] A slideshow for anticipatory set 1
- Anticipatory Set - secondary - Hooks / Set
Additional hook, because it further draws my students in to the lesson - but it has elements of direct instruction as well. Show a short segment of the 60 Minutes program called, "Life, Death and Politics". This is the story of a Baptist minister and his wife who have a child afflicted with Hurler's Syndrome, a lethal genetic disease that may respond to fetal tissue transplantation.
Using the "Depth and Complexity Icons" by Dr. Sandra Kaplan, ask the students to identify which icons we will be using in class to study this matter. Hopefully, they come up with the ethics icon, the unanswered questions icon, and the different perspectives icon. This usually helps focus the students on where we are headed for the day with respect to thinking.
- Depth and Complexity Icons [ Download ] These are the depth and complexity icons used for differentiated instruction and cognitive operations
- Setting the Norms - Lecture
Anytime students are entering into a bioethics learning experience, collaborate with my students on creating or revising norms that the cohort will adhere to during the activities. It is important to reinforce the social and academic norms as not all students come to the classroom with the same behavioral skill set nor maturity level. Reinforce that as future professionals they will be expected to behave in a professional and considerate manner. Keep my norms minimal, but they are big enough topics to include many things without having to state them directly. Some norms may include:
1. Active listening - no one can speak while someone else is speaking.
2. Build - try to build on what others say, not just debate views.
3. Justify your statements - refer to the text or media where the idea was drawn from rather than make general statements or observations.
4. Assume positive intentions - even if someone is diametrically opposed to your view, try to remember it is not personal, and everyone is entitled to have their beliefs.
5. Maintain confidentiality-if something personal is shared in class rather than identifying a person, encourage the students to share, "I know someone who."
Provide an overhead to help students differentiate between dialog and debate. It is important to front load this information so that your seminar flows smoother.
- Introducing Socratic Seminar - Other
Quickly, provide an overview to the Socratic Seminar that the students are going to be engaging in. All students must understand four concepts relating to the seminar itself. Use the AVID handbook on Socratic Seminars for student handouts or overhead guides to describe and relate the four components, which are: 1. the text 2. the question 3. the leader 4. the participants.
- AVID strategies for success [ Download ] Socratic Seminar Teacher's Guide - begins on page 160
- Marking a Text - Demo / Modeling
Using an ELMO (or overhead projector), place a short segment of text for students to examine while modeling how to read and effectively marking a text. Essential elements that need to be covered include; restating main ideas in the margins, identifying essential vocabulary, locating examples and justifications, and posing questions for use in class discussions that follow the reading exercise. Materials used will include; highlighters, post-its, and writing pens/pencils.
- Reading - Other
Students will read and mark the article "Ethics of Fetal Tissue Transplantation" by Sanders, Giudice, and Raffin. The teacher may read while the student's read along and mark their papers. Provide highlighters, post-it notes, and wide margins on the paper so they have room to make comments or markings. It is more effective and efficient for the teacher to read the paper, so that students can indicate if they do not understand a word or phrase within the text. It makes a difference with student comprehension and can make or break your socratic seminar activity.
- Article on Fetal Tissue Transplantation [ Download ] This is an advanced paper discussing the social, legal, medical, and economic issues on fetal tissue transplant.
- Forming Preliminary Questions - Group Work
For the seminar (which is held on day 2), ask the students to form small groups and discuss potential questions that would be good starting points for our dialogue the next day. Remind students that the norms are in place and should be adhered to. If there is a group that has difficulty following norms, ask that one person in each group steps up to become the moderator in the group (for this part only). Their ticket out of class is to submit a list of questions they have collaborated on. There is a handout for questions in the "Strategies for Student Success" handout attached above (page 166).
Stress that you are looking for only opening questions for right now, but mention that in a Socratic Seminar, questions are divided into three groups:
Opening questions should have no single correct answer and leads back to the text for justification or clarification.
Core questions are content specific and are often "how" or "why" questions.
Closing questions establish relevance and connect to the real world or the experience of the participants.
- Socratic Seminar Overview! - Hooks / Set
As students file in, allow them a 5 minute preview of a video of students engaging in a Socratic Seminar. Specifically use an English class so they are not tempted to recreate exactly what they see. After watching the video, ask students to comment about what they observed - reminding them that observation utilizes all senses (where appropriate), and is objective (like a camera.. not opinionated).
- Reviewing Norms - Assessment
In no more than about 5 minutes, ask my students to relate the norms we established the day before. Once all the norms are reviewed, the room can be reconfigured for the seminar.
- Review the evaluation rubrics - Lecture
Hand out the evaluation rubrics to the students so they can see what they are expected to do during the activity and what they will be assessed on. Specifically, look on pages 176, 179-180 of the "Four Strategies for Student Success" attached above. Allow students to ask questions and clarify misunderstandings about the process before students engage in the discourse.
- Socratic Seminar - Group Work
Have the students reconfigure the room into a circle of chairs for the activity.
The teacher usually start as the leader with the first few seminars we do as a group. Select a good opening question from the student submissions the day before. A standard opening question might be, "Is fetal tissue transplantation necessary and beneficial?"
During the seminar, you as the group leader, moderate and continue to uphold the norms, but you do not add information as a participant. Allow the students to drive the discussion and allow it to naturally evolve.
An occasional reminder to use the text to justify their positions or to "build" on other peoples statements might be needed in the first few seminars, but after the student cohort becomes acclimated to the process, it is very much a student centered activity.
Allow for about 15-20 minutes of discussion of the topic, end the seminar and move on to the evaluative process.
- Assessment Types:
- Rubrics, Surveys, Interviews, Observations,
There are several sheets that can be used to assess student outcomes from this activity.
One is just a reflective debriefing which asks the student to comment on their contributions, their opinions on seminar effectiveness, and if there were any unanswered questions still remaining.
The other evaluative piece is the rubric, which is filled out for each student, but also have them fill out one as a form of self-assessment. If there is a large discrepancy between what is observed and what the student self-reports, then have a conference with them to address the differences.
After filling out these forms, use the remainder of the class to discuss the insights people gained from the process and reflection.
- Student Debriefing Sheet [ Download ] A narrative debriefing form for students to use after the Socratic Seminar
- Rubric 1 for Socratic Seminar [ Download ] A more holistic rubric for teacher and student self-evaluation
- Rubric 2 for Socratic Seminar [ Download ] A four point rubric for teacher and student self-evaluation.