High school biology students’ use of values in their moral argumentation and decision-making in times of polarization, confusion and unsustainability

Another paper based on PhD Tore van der Leij just appeared in the Journal of Moral Education. I took the liberty to add a few words to the title… ‘in times of polarization, confusion and unsustainability’ to emphasize the importance of this work.

In this qualitative case study Tore examined the impact of a specially-designed classroom intervention for a group of 15–16-year-old Dutch biology students’ use of values in contemplating five socioscientific issues in the human-nature context. The students worked in small groups to support various aspects of their morality. An ethical matrix was used as a heuristic to explore different arguments and moral values from different perspectives. The collected data consisted of written assignments, group conversations, and individual interviews. The results show that students’ use of values differed from one issue to another. The values they used in their moral decision-making indicated that the influence of the intervention activities, aimed at enhancing a relationship between moral agent (student) and moral object (topic), was limited. The study provides evidence that the intervention positively conduced to students’ cognition of the values that are personally relevant. Recommendations for further theorization, research and practice are discussed.

Here is the link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03057240.2023.2185595

Full citaton:Leij, Tote, van der, Martin Goedhart, Lucy Avraamidou & Arjen Wals (2023) High school biology students’ use of values in their moral argumentation and decision-making, Journal of Moral Education, DOI: 10.1080/03057240.2023.2185595