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Real World Issues in the Classroom

American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)
1900 Campus Commons Dr., Suite 200
Reston, VA 20190
Phone: (703) 674-2500

For Immediate Release: 19 October 2010

For more information, contact:
Susan Musante, Education Manager

AIBS introduces a new resource for socioscientific issues-based instruction.

Reston, VA - The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) recently published, with support from the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, Minnesota, a new resource to help educators explore real-world issues with students.

By combining socially relevant issues with course content, educators can increase students’ interest and motivation, improve higher order thinking skills, and increase their understanding of the nature of science. The approach requires students to develop a position on a controversial, real-world issue; discover evidence that supports or refutes their position; and communicate with their peers. These skills will serve them both in their future academic studies and in the workforce.

The module provides background information about using socioscientific issues in the classroom, evidence from education research on the effectiveness of the method, specific strategies to implement it, and six example activities. The activities cover the topics of pharmacogenetics, human cloning, neuroscience, extinction, endangered species, and the “environmentalist’s paradox.” The module is available on the AIBS’ web site,, at

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