ERIC Number: ED249044
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Biology: A Review of Research on Conceptual Development in the Life Sciences.
Mintzes, Joel J.; Arnaudin, Mary W.
Sixty-eight studies on conceptual development in the biological sciences are reviewed. These studies originated in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Each study was classified by type of concept(s) under investigation and by the research method employed (focusing on the mode of inquiry and the mode of assessment used). When classified by concepts, five distinct groups were identified. They include children's concepts of: (1) life (living versus nonliving) and death; (2) plants and animals; (3) the human body; (4) biological continuity (reproduction, genetics, and evolution); and (5) other biological phenomena. These studies demonstrate the existence and tenacity of children's alternative conceptions in biology and that conventional teaching approaches often leave these preconceptions undisturbed. Therefore, several researchers have directed their efforts toward investigating the conditions under which students are likely to exchange an old concept for a new one and what teachers can do to facilitate this exchange. One model noted suggests that conceptual change begins a dissatisfaction with existing explanations; the model also suggests such change occurs when a new concept possesses more intelligibility, plausibility, and fruitfulness than an old concept. A list of references and tables summarizing study information are provided. (JN)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Wilmington. Dept. of Biological Sciences.