ERIC Number: EJ1046285
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
Students' Visualization of Diagrams Representing the Human Circulatory System: The Use of Spatial Isomorphism and Representational Conventions
Cheng, Maurice M. W.; Gilbert, John K.
International Journal of Science Education, v37 n1 p136-161 2015
This study investigated students' interpretation of diagrams representing the human circulatory system. We conducted an interview study with three students aged 14-15 (Year 10) who were studying biology in a Hong Kong school. During the interviews, students were asked to interpret diagrams and relationships between diagrams that represented aspects of the circulatory system. All diagrams used in the interviews had been used by their teacher when teaching the topic. Students' interpretations were expressed by their verbal response and their drawing. Dual coding theory was used to interpret students' responses. There was evidence that one student relied on verbal recall as a strategy in interpreting diagrams. It was found that students might have relied unduly on similarities in spatial features, rather than on deeper meanings represented by conventions, of diagrams when they associated diagrams that represented different aspects of the circulatory system. A pattern of students' understanding of structure-behaviour-function relationship of the biological system was observed. This study suggests the importance of a consistent diagrammatic and verbal representation in communicating scientific ideas. Implications for teaching practice that facilitates learning with diagrams and address students' undue focus on spatial features of diagrams are discussed.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Human Body, Interviews, Grade 10, Biology, Secondary School Science, Visual Aids, Teaching Methods, Freehand Drawing, Coding, Recall (Psychology), Spatial Ability, Anatomy, Physiology, Verbal Communication, Foreign Countries, Textbooks, Science Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Secondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong