Title page for ETD etd-05172006-220554

Type of Document Dissertation
Author McLaughlin, John
URN etd-05172006-220554
Title Biotechnology Education: An Investigation of Corporate and Communal Science in the Classroom
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Glasson, George E. Committee Chair
Brand, Brenda R. Committee Member
Downey, Gary L. Committee Member
Hicks, David Committee Member
Nespor, Jan K. Committee Member
  • biotechnology education as corporate
  • public secondary school
  • science education
  • private secondary school
  • biotechnology education as communal
  • economy
  • rural education
Date of Defense 2006-05-04
Availability unrestricted
It is impossible to imagine our schools or community without framing such a view around a corporate structure. Money, capital, and economic stakeholders are all around us, building a corporate landscape that all members of the community must travel through in the course of their everyday lives. To suggest that education should be void of any type of economic influence would be to deny that a very important thread of our communities’ tapestry exists.

As we look at the way that these education intentions move outside our own communities and connect us to other communities and the world, we see corporate education economics framed in either a global or communal perspective. A corporate science education perspective tends to treat science with strict positivism, and technology with hard determinism. Communal theories of science education view science as post-positivistic and technology with a softer determinism; as a result social implications emerge, and the science becomes more socially constructed. It supports the personal capital of all students, regardless of their view of science or technology. It allows students to “border cross” more easily so they can “scaffold” new science information onto previous learning.

This research consists of exploring how biotechnology education emerged within the state, how the resources intersected within a biotechnology conference and how teachers conceptualized biotechnology practices in their own classrooms. The researcher pieced together a sketch of the history of how biotechnology curriculum arose in high school biology classes. The researcher also explored the hybrid nature of biotechnology resources such as an educational conference where teachers attend workshops and lectures. The practices of two teachers in a public high school and one in a private school setting were also analyzed.

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