Towards a More Humane Genetics Education

Teach Humane Genetics by Participating in a Research Study

BSCS Science Learning is conducting a pair of National Science Foundation-funded studies to explore how learning about human genetic variation and complex trait development influences how students think about race, as well as how well they are able to reason using evidence. Our work aims to give students a more scientifically accurate understanding of genetics and race and reduce racial bias. There are two ways to participate in this study, outlined below.

About the Studies

Study option 1: Computer-based lessons

This is a one-year study of a single, computerized-based lesson to be conducted in the 2024-2025 school year. In this study, each of your biology students will be randomly assigned to learn from one of three online genetics lessons. Participating students will also complete three 45-minute surveys; one at the end of your regularly scheduled genetics unit, one immediately after the online genetics lesson which should occur at least 2 weeks after the first survey, and a final survey one month later. If you participate in this study, you will receive a stipend of $200. 

Study option 2: Classroom-based lessons and teacher professional development

This study is a two-year, classroom materials-based unit to be conducted in the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 school years. In this study, your biology students will learn from the genetics materials you typically teach during the 2024-2025 school year. In the summer of 2025, you will attend a free, online, five-day professional development institute to learn about the Humane Genetics materials. In the Fall of 2024 or Spring of 2025, your (new) students will learn from your typical curriculum on Mendelian genetics and then the four-week Humane Genetics unit. Multiple surveys will be administered to students before, during, and after the genetics units in both years. The BSCS research team will explore how these units affect students’ quantitative reasoning in biology and their knowledge of genetics, and whether this learning causes reductions in cognitive forms of racial prejudice. If you participate in this study, you will receive a stipend of $500. However, this study is contingent on enough teachers expressing interest and receiving approval for participation from their school district. 

Additional Information

Participation in either study is contingent upon approval from your school district to conduct research. Teachers need to teach biology to high school students during all years of the study in which they participate. Additionally, we seek teachers who are committed to carrying out this study with diligence and fidelity and who are interested in learning how to teach for social justice in biology education.

Sign Up

To indicate your interest in participating in either of these studies, please fill out this form.