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An Analysis of science teachers’ genetics literacy and related decision making process

Cebesoy, Ümran Betül
The purpose of the present study was twofold. The study, first explored the relationships among science teachers' background characteristics (gender, teaching experience, self-perceived interest in genetics and self-perceived knowledge in genetics), their genetics literacy levels, attitudes towards various issues in genetics literacy and perceptions of teaching issues in genetics literacy. Second, the present study was aimed to explore the factors that influence science teachers' decision making processes. In current study, sequential explanatory design, a type of mixed method research, was adopted. 435 science teachers working in public middle schools in Ankara participated in the quantitative part of study. Participating teachers completed Genetics Literacy Assessment Inventory, Attitudes towards Issues in Genetics Literacy Scale and Perceptions of Teaching Issues in Genetics Literacy Scale. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 volunteer science teachers in the qualitative part of study. Results revealed that being female, having high level of interest in genetics and perceiving themselves as knowledgeable in genetics were associated with higher levels of knowledge in genetics literacy and favorable general attitudes as well as believing the necessity of introducing genetics literacy and holding higher self-efficacy teaching beliefs. They, however, were likely to emphasize more hinderer factors as well as holding unfavorable attitudes towards gene therapy and gene therapy applications implying that their attitudes were context dependent. Likewise, their decisions were changed based on the issues being investigated. While their decisions were influenced by a wide range of factors, the emergent factor that influenced their decisions was found as moral considerations.