Secondary students’ attitudes to animal research: Examining the potential of a resource to communicate the scientist’s perspective

A DVD resource that provided a scientist’s perspective on the use of animals in research and teaching was evaluated with a questionnaire that asked students’ views pre and post their access to the resource. Thirty-nine secondary students (Y10-Y13) took part in three different teaching programmes that provided information about animal research and allowed them to explore the issues. Students’ opinions about the use of animals for research and teaching were measured by matched pre and post questionnaires and open responses they made to justify their positions. The findings showed that students’ views on animal research are strongly held and they express their views with emotion. The resource helped students to realise the complexity of the issue and provided them with knowledge to write more nuanced justifications. This resource was focussed on providing students with cognitive input and this evaluation indicated that equal attention should be provided to the affect component of attitude formation.