Genetics and Society: A Course for Educators

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About this course: How have advances in genetics affected society? What do we need to know to make ethical decisions about genetic technologies? This course includes the study of cloning, genetic enhancement, and ownership of genetic information. Course participants will acquire the tools to explore the ethics of modern genetics and learn how to integrate these issues into their classrooms.

Created by:  American Museum of Natural History
  • Taught by:  Rob DeSalle, Ph.D., Curator

    Division of Invertebrate Zoology
  • Taught by:  David Randle, Ph.D., Senior Manager of Professional Development

    Education Department
Commitment 5-8 hours/week Language English …

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: How have advances in genetics affected society? What do we need to know to make ethical decisions about genetic technologies? This course includes the study of cloning, genetic enhancement, and ownership of genetic information. Course participants will acquire the tools to explore the ethics of modern genetics and learn how to integrate these issues into their classrooms.

Created by:  American Museum of Natural History
  • Taught by:  Rob DeSalle, Ph.D., Curator

    Division of Invertebrate Zoology
  • Taught by:  David Randle, Ph.D., Senior Manager of Professional Development

    Education Department
Commitment 5-8 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.5 stars Average User Rating 4.5See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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American Museum of Natural History The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Introduction and From Mendel to 1000 Genomes



You will explore the history of genetics and genomics, and be introduced to ways of thinking ethically about issues involving genetic technology. You will learn how ethical issues can be used to spark your students’ interest, and how to uncover students’ misconceptions.


4 videos, 6 readings expand


  1. Video: Course Overview
  2. Reading: Syllabus
  3. Reading: Resources
  4. Video: Introduction to the Course
  5. Video: The Broad Timeline of Genetics
  6. Reading: Genetics: A Short History
  7. Reading: Nature and Nurture
  8. Reading: Thinking Ethically
  9. Reading: Advancing Technology and the Need for Expanding Ethical Concerns
  10. Video: Teaching Genetics Through an Exploration of Ethical Issues

Graded: Module 1 Quiz

WEEK 2


DNA Fingerprinting, Cloning, and the Future
You will explore systems biology, stem cells, and cloning and the applications of these technologies. You will also learn about the ethics of cloning, which will be the basis for your written assignment, which opens this week.


5 videos, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Recent Developments in Cloning
  2. Reading: Cloning: How and Why?
  3. Video: Science Bulletins: Cloning and Conservation
  4. Reading: DNA Fingerprinting, Individual Identification and Ancestry
  5. Reading: Tools and Techniques in the Modern Molecular Laboratory
  6. Video: Teaching with the Next Generation Science Standards
  7. Video: Next Generation Science Standards
  8. Video: Peer-Graded Assignment Overview

Graded: Ethical Conflict Written Assignment
Graded: Module 2 Quiz

WEEK 3


Genomics in Medicine



You will see how genetic information is being used to individualize medical treatments and take a video tour of the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History. You will also apply the Science and Engineering practices from A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Education Standards in considering how to engage students in discussion about ethics.


7 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Genomics in Medicine
  2. Reading: Epigenetics and the Epigenome
  3. Reading: Human Variation Versus Ethnic Groups and Pharmacogenomics
  4. Reading: Redesigning the Self: The Promise and Perils of Genetic Enhancement
  5. Reading: A Modern Day Genetic Testing Conundrum
  6. Video: Lab Tour with Dr. DeSalle
  7. Video: Using “Genethics” with Students
  8. Video: Science Bulletins: Stem Cells: Developing New Cures
  9. Video: Science Bulletins: Stem Cell Advance Study of Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  10. Video: Science Bulletins: Stem Cells Made from Eggs Alone
  11. Video: Science Bulletins: Genes and Health – Moving Beyond Race

Graded: Week 3 Quiz

WEEK 4


Genomes, Agriculture, and Society
This week you will learn about the societal implications of genetically modified food, and discuss ways to incorporate this issue into your teaching.


3 videos, 6 readings expand


  1. Video: Genetically Modified Organisms
  2. Reading: Genetically Modified Food: Bt Corn
  3. Reading: Genomics, Biotechnology, and Agriculture
  4. Video: Science Bulletins: Potato Biodiversity – Ensuring the Future
  5. Reading: Mapping Morality: The Rights and Wrongs of Genomics
  6. Video: Teaching About GMO Food
  7. Reading: Resources
  8. Reading: Opportunities for Educators
  9. Reading: Support AMNH

Graded: Week 4 Quiz
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