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University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
Recommended by:
Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

Designing assessment

Marcus Grace and Mary Ratcliffe outline the knowledge, understanding and skills that students studying ethical issues in science acquire and that can be used to design assessment questions.

Conceptual knowledge

Learners can demonstrate understanding of:

  • underpinning science concepts and the nature of scientific endeavour;
  • probability and risk;
  • the scope of the issue – personal, local, national, global, political and societal context;
  • environmental sustainability.
Procedural knowledge

Learners can engage successfully in:

  • processes of opinion forming/decision making using a partial and possibly biased information base;
  • cost benefit analysis;
  • evidence evaluation including media reporting
  • ethical reasoning
Attitudes and beliefs

Learners can:

  • clarify personal and societal values and ideas of responsibility
  • recognize how values and beliefs are brought to bear, alongside other factors, in considering socio-scientific issues


  Evaluating argument


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