High School and University Students' Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Biotechnology

Usak M., ERDOĞAN M., Prokop P., Ozel M.

BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY EDUCATION, vol.37, no.2, pp.123-130, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/bmb.20267
  • Page Numbers: pp.123-130
  • Keywords: biotechnology, knowledge, attitudes, students' knowledge and attitudes toward biotechnology, EDUCATION, RISK, UK


Biotechnology has a considerable importance in Turkish biology curriculum. This study was designed to explore or indicate Turkish high school and university students' knowledge and attitudes toward biotechnology. A total number of 352 high school and 276 university students were invited to the study. The Biotechnology Knowledge Questionnaire (BKQ) with 16 items and Biotechnology Attitude Questionnaire (BAQ) with 37 items were used as data collection instruments. The statistically significant correlation was observed between the level of biotechnology knowledge and the subdimensions of attitudes toward biotechnology. We found no statistically significant difference between high school and university students' knowledge of biotechnology. In contrast, university students showed more positive attitudes toward biotechnology than did high school students. However, the effect of gender was equivocal; therefore, it did not support a "gender paradox" hypothesis. Our results suggest that although students' appreciation of (agricultural) biotechnology is relatively positive, the understanding of biotechnology processes is superficial and attitudes toward shopping genetically modified products are therefore negative. The possible impact of current science and biology curriculum, and also biotechnology news given in media on Turkish students' views of biotechnology is discussed.