Genetics Literacy: Insights From Science Teachers' Knowledge, Attitude, and Teaching Perceptions

Cebesoy Ü. B. , Öztekin C.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION, vol.16, pp.1247-1268, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10763-017-9840-4
  • Page Numbers: pp.1247-1268
  • Keywords: Attitudes, Genetics literacy, Science teachers, Teaching perceptions, SOCIO-SCIENTIFIC ISSUES, LEARNING PROGRESSION, BIOTECHNOLOGY, STUDENTS, TECHNOLOGY, BELIEF


Teachers have a crucial role to play in raising future generations of citizens who are aware of issues in genetics literacy such as gene therapy, cloning, and stem cell research. Teachers' teaching practices are influenced by their knowledge in genetics literacy and their attitudes towards different issues. Accordingly, this study explored the relationships among middle school science teachers' background characteristics (gender, teaching experience, self-perceived interest in and self-perceived knowledge of genetics), their genetics literacy levels, their attitudes towards various issues in genetics literacy, and their perceptions of teaching issues in genetics literacy. Data were collected from 435 Turkish middle school science teachers by completing the Genetics Literacy Assessment Inventory, the scale for attitudes towards issues in genetics literacy and perceptions of teaching issues in genetics literacy. The results of canonical correlation analysis suggested that being female, having a high level of interest in genetics, and perceiving oneself as knowledgeable in genetics were associated with higher levels of knowledge in genetics literacy and holding favorable general attitudes. These teachers believed in the necessity of introducing genetics literacy and held higher self-efficacy teaching beliefs regarding the teaching of issues in genetics literacy in their classes. However, they tended to emphasize more impeding factors as well as hold unfavorable attitudes towards gene therapy and gene therapy applications, implying that their attitudes were context dependent.