Gene literacy education in Japan-Fostering public understanding through practice of hands-on laboratory activities in high schools
Public understanding (PU) of biotechnology and life science is indispensable for developing bio-industry and life science itself. To promote PU, scientific literacy education, especially gene literacy education, should be introduced to the general public. An effective conduit for reaching a broad sector of society is high schools into which more than 95% of young people in Japan enter currently. Gene education involving laboratory activity is effective for obtaining literate students, because practical hands-on activities engage student's attention and deepen their understanding of biotechnology. The text "Recombinant DNA laboratory practice for secondary education" has enabled students to perform transformation experiments with safe host-vector systems in their classroom. Workshops for secondary school teachers have been held in a lot of universities since 2001, and currently gene literacy education involving laboratory activity is available in many high schools and public facilities including museums. To be most successful, we found that gene literacy education requires the collaborative efforts of teachers and scientists, and inter-school or intra-school cooperation status. In the present review, we summarize the current of gene literacy education in Japan.
- Plant biotechnology
Plant biotechnology 23(3), 339-346, 2006-06-01
Japanese Society for Plant Cell and Molecular Biology