Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teaching Tactics - Neuroethics in the Curriculum

I made and abandoned several attempts at an opening sentence for this post and all of them included a deft way to bury the lead. The lead is this: I’m thrilled for two of my students whose video, Empathy and your Brain, was selected as one of the top submissions to the 2014 Brain Awareness Video Contest. Their video now has the chance to be selected as the fan favorite in the People’s Choice contest.

But why was I burying it?

I suppose I’ve become accustomed to integrating Neuroethics content and dialogue in courses that I teach, sometimes as part of the formal curriculum, but more often as implicit or hidden curriculum. Since Neuroethics courses are still not yet standard fare in most academic institutions, I generally don’t have an opportunity to explicitly test out some of the currently evolving creative techniques in Neuroethics education like those featured on NeuroethicsWomen Leaders teaching resources page. Instead, I often work the ideas and concepts into other more general courses. The examples and cases I select in Research Design courses, Introduction to Psychology and even Statistics courses, usually have some Neuroethics content, and I’ve assigned readings from AJOB Neuroscience and this blog as entry points to discuss topics in Neuroethics and Neuroscience. From controversial to practical or current and topical, I’m constantly seeking ways to engage a wide variety of students  in the course material. The dynamic nature and novelty of the issues addressed in Neuroethics provide fertile ground for discussion, engagement and the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Student-Designed Teaching Ideas -  Candy Synapse
Student-Designed Teaching Ideas - Neuroanatomy

Ann and Kat’s video was submitted as a final project in the undergraduate Biopsychology course I taught at Georgia Gwinnett College in the spring semester 2014. For the final project, students were given the choice to write a research proposal or develop and produce a short educational video for an audience of their choosing. As I always do, I encouraged the students to submit their final project to the Brain Awareness Video Contest. I’m thrilled that they accepted my challenge and their video now qualifies for the people’s choice contest. I would be tickled if they won the $500 cash prize for fan favorite video, but if I am to be completely honest, I’ll admit that I’m equally thrilled that Empathy, ripe with its Neuroethics implications was their topic of choice for not only this video, but for their independent research projects. Voting is open from September 9 to September 30 at http://www.brainfacts.org/bavc.

Ann Gillman and Kat Kelkenberg, creators of the video

Want to cite this post?

Hue, G. (2014). Teaching Tactics - Neuroethics in the Curriculum. The Neuroethics Blog. Retrieved on , from http://www.theneuroethicsblog.com/2014/09/teaching-tactics-neuroethics-in.html

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