Students’ age range: 16-18
Main subject: Sciences
Topic: Genetic Engineering - Applications to Modern Life
Description: 1. Having introduced the method and established the rules in a previous class, relevant materials in the form of articles on reputable websites and a podcast would be shared via email at least 3-5 days before the actual class.
2. Students should think carefully about what they have read and listened to, make personal notes/observations and engage in further research on the topic. The basics of Genetic Engineering having been already completed, students should come with an informed opinion on the question: Would you eat that? (referring to GM foods). Yes and No should be written on coloured papers on entry to the classroom. On cue, these will be displayed.
3. The Fish Bowl discussion would ensue, with minimal teacher interference. Teacher takes note of how well the material was assimilated, understood and challenged in the course of the discussion.
4. The wrap-up exercise includes not only consideration of the question at hand but also how well the Fish Bowl method worked. Conclusions should be drawn on the potential benefits vs harms of consuming, producing and relying on GM foods. Consideration of context will be encouraged. Students should share whether or not their views were the same at the end of the session, explaining their answers. The Yes or No coloured papers will be held up. Analysis of the Fish Bowl method should also be conducted through class discussion.
5. Students should write a reflective piece on the class, including their personal views on GM foods (whether or not they would eat them) and how they felt about the exercise overall.