The critical thinking skills of biology teacher candidates toward the ethical issues

Yuyun Maryuningsih, Topik Hidayat, R. Riandi, Nuryani Y. Rustaman


The critical thinking skills are needed by biology teacher candidates to deal with the nowadays ethical issues arisen among society. The aim of this research was to observe the critical thinking skills of biology teacher candidates toward the ethical issues especially in genetic field through online discussion. The subjects of this experimental research were 104 biology teacher candidates who took the Genetics Course in an institution in West Java.  The subject were devided into three groups consisted of two experimental groups and one control group which conducted online discussion by using Gen-21cs application. The experimental groups discussed the topics given by the both instructor and students, while the control group only discussed the topics given by the instructor. The topics discussed were cell cloning, Genetically Engineered Products, stemcell and inbreeding. The online discussions have been done for four weeks. The biology teacher candidate responses were measured using the critica thinking measurement developed by Facione.The critical thinking scores gained were analyzed using descriptive statistic in term of mean. The results showed that the critical thinking skills of the biology teacher candidates tended to increase in each discussion sessions. Online discussion can be used to ensure the other thinking skills.


critical thinking skills; ethical issues; genetics; online discussion

Full Text:



Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2011). Understanding cognitive presence in an online and blended community of inquiry: Assessing outcomes and processes for deep approaches to learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(2), 233–250. doi:

Anderson, M. R., Miller, L., Wickramaratne, P., Svob, C., Odgerel, Z., Zhao, R., & Weissman, M. M. (2017). Genetic correlates of spirituality/religion and depression: A study in offspring and grandchildren at high and low familial risk for depression. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 4(1), 43–63. doi:

Barnes, M. E., Elser, J., & Brownell, S. E. (2017). Impact of a short evolution module on students’ perceived conflict between religion and evolution. The American Biology Teacher, 79(2), 104–111. doi:

Boerwinkel, D. J., Yarden, A., & Waarlo, A. J. (2017). Reaching a consensus on the definition of genetic literacy that is required from a twenty-first-century citizen. Science & Education, 26(10), 1087–1114. doi:

Brown, L. (2014). Constructivist learning environments and defining the online learning community. I-Manager’s Journal on School Educational Technology, 9(4), 1–6. doi:

Burian, R. M. (2013). On gene concepts and teaching genetics: Episodes from classical genetics. Science & Education, 22(2), 325–344. doi:

Cantor, A., Hippman, C., Hercher, L., & Austin, J. C. (2019). Genetic counseling students’ experiences with mental illness during training: An exploratory study. Journal of American College Health, 67(4), 348–356. doi:

Cebesoy, & Oztekin, C. (2018). Genetics literacy: Insights from science teachers’ knowledge, attitude, and teaching perceptions. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 16(7), 1247–1268. doi:

Cebesoy, & Tekkaya, C. (2012). Pre-service science teachers’ genetic literacy level and attitudes towards genetics. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31, 56–60. doi:

Chattopadhyay, A. (2005). Understanding of genetic information in higher secondary students in northeast India and the implications for genetics education. Cell Biology Education, 4(1), 97–104. doi:

Chowning, J. T., Griswold, J. C., Kovarik, D. N., & Collins, L. J. (2012). Fostering critical thinking, reasoning, and argumentation skills through bioethics education. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e36791. doi:

Concannon, J. P., Siegel, M. A., Halverson, K., & Freyermuth, S. (2010). College students’ conceptions of stem cells, stem cell research, and cloning. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 19(2), 177–186. doi:

Cooling, T. (2012). What is a controversial issue? Implications for the treatment of religious beliefs in education. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 33(2), 169–181. doi:

Cush, D., & Robinson, C. (2014). Developments in religious studies: towards a dialogue with religious education. British Journal of Religious Education, 36(1), 4–17. doi:

Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction. Retrieved from

Facione, P. A. (2011). Critical thinking: What it is and why it counts. Insight assessment. Insight assessment. Retrieved from & why critical thinking, update 2015.pdf

Fink, R. D. (2002). Cloning, stem cells, and the current national debate: Incorporating ethics into a large introductory biology course. Cell Biology Education, 1(4), 132–144. doi:

Freidenreich, H. B., Duncan, R. G., & Shea, N. (2011). Exploring middle school students’ understanding of three conceptual models in genetics. International Journal of Science Education, 33(17), 2323–2349. doi:

Gericke, N., Carver, R., Castéra, J., Evangelista, N. A. M., Marre, C. C., & El-Hani, C. N. (2017). Exploring relationships among belief in genetic determinism, genetics knowledge, and social factors. Science & Education, 26(10), 1223–1259. doi:

Gottheiner, D. M., & Siegel, M. A. (2012). Experienced middle school science teachers’ assessment literacy: Investigating knowledge of students’ conceptions in genetics and ways to shape instruction. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 23(5), 531–557. doi:

Grine, F., Bensaid, B., Nor, M. R. M., & Ladjal, T. (2013). Sustainability in multi-religious societies: An Islamic perspective. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 34(1), 72–86. doi:

Haskel-Ittah, M., & Yarden, A. (2018). Students’ conception of genetic phenomena and its effect on their ability to understand the underlying mechanism. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 17(3), 1–9.

Haukenes, A. (2004). Perceived health risks and perceptions of expert consensus in modern food society. Journal of Risk Research, 7(7–8), 759–774. doi:

Kendal, S., Kirk, S., Elvey, R., Catchpole, R., & Pryjmachuk, S. (2017). How a moderated online discussion forum facilitates support for young people with eating disorders. Health Expectations, 20(1), 98–111. doi:

Luterbach, K. J., & Brown, C. (2011). Education for the 21st century. International Journal of Applied Educational Studies, 11(1), 14–32. Retrieved from

Mangahas, A. M. E. (2017). Perceptions of high school biology teachers in christian schools on relationships between religious beliefs and teaching evolution. Journal of Research on Christian Education, 26(1), 24–43. doi:

Mansour, N. (2010). Science teachers’ interpretations of Islamic culture related to science education versus the Islamic epistemology and ontology of science. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 5(1), 127–140. doi:

Maryuningsih, Y., Hidayat, T., Riandi, R., & Rustaman, N. (2019). Developing Gen-21cs on smartphone to cultivate the 21st-century skills on biology teacher candidates. JPBI (Jurnal Pendidikan Biologi Indonesia), 5(3), 415–424. doi:

Muchnik, P. (2018). Clipping our dogmatic wings: The role of religion’s Parerga in our moral education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 51(13), 1381–1391. doi:

Nie, F. (2019). Religion and youth educational aspirations: A multilevel approach. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 40(1), 88–103. doi:

Podoprigora, R. (2018). School and religion in Kazakhstan: No choice for believers. Journal of School Choice, 12(4), 588–604. doi:

Salehudin, S. N. ., & Iksan, Z. . (2017). Integration of tauhid (faith) element in biology education. Journal Of Educational Science, 1(1), 11–23. Retrieved from

Scheitle, C. P., & Ecklund, E. H. (2017). Recommending a child enter a STEM career. Journal of Career Development, 44(3), 251–265. doi:

Scully, J. L., Banks, S., Song, R., & Haq, J. (2017). Experiences of faith group members using new reproductive and genetic technologies: A qualitative interview study. Human Fertility, 20(1), 22–29. doi:

Shalev-Shwartz, S. (2011). Online learning and online convex optimization. Foundations and Trends® in Machine Learning, 4(2), 107–194. doi:

Stern, F., & Kampourakis, K. (2017). Teaching for genetics literacy in the post-genomic era. Studies in Science Education, 53(2), 193–225. doi:

Sun, Z., Lin, C.-H., Wu, M., Zhou, J., & Luo, L. (2018). A tale of two communication tools: Discussion-forum and mobile instant-messaging apps in collaborative learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(2), 248–261. doi:

Swart, R. (2017). Critical thinking instruction and technology enhanced learning from the student perspective: A mixed methods research study. Nurse Education in Practice, 23, 30–39. doi:

Todd, A., & Kenyon, L. (2013). Using learning progressions to map high school student understandings of molecular genetics. Retrieved from

Todd, A., & Romine, W. L. (2017). Empirical validation of a modern genetics progression web for college biology students. International Journal of Science Education, 39(4), 488–505. doi:

Tucker, J. P., YoungGonzaga, S., & Krause, J. (2014). A proposed model for authenticating knowledge transfer in online discussion forums. International Journal of Higher Education, 3(2), 106–119. doi:

Uijl, S., Filius, R., & Ten Cate, O. (2017). Student interaction in small private online courses. Medical Science Educator, 27(2), 237–242. doi:

Van Huyssteen, J. W. (2017). Lecture three: From empathy to embodied faith: Interdisciplinary perspectives on the evolution of religion. HTS Theological Studies, 73(3), 1–11. doi:

Wang, C. (2013). Fostering critical religious thinking in multicultural education for teacher education. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 34(2), 152–164. doi:

DOI: | Abstract views : 142 | PDF views : 0 |


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Maryuningsih et al

License URL:

View JPBI Stats

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.