Teachers often wonder how best to teach the myriad of social and ethical issues that are encompassed in the biology curriculum. One can just think of issues such as genetic engineering, evolution (and the continuous evolution-creationism debate), research ethics (the haunting book The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks comes to mind), human population studies, health care and nutrition, sexuality and gender, drugs, environmental pollution, to name but a few. In this article we highlight the advantages of puppetry in the biology classroom, as an engaging pedagogy that could assist conceptual change in students. We explore the dual epistemological border-crossing that takes place in the classroom when puppetry is used: (a) the integration of societal and ethical issues within the biology curriculum, and (b) the infusion of art and drama within the natural sciences. We reflect on our own classroom action research on puppetry, and share our main findings. We also provide practical guidelines for using puppetry as pedagogy within a problem-based and cooperative learning setting.
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