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ERIC Number: EJ1088177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
Challenging Students' Intuitions--The Influence of a Tangible Model of Virus Assembly on Students' Conceptual Reasoning about the Process of Self-Assembly
Larsson, Caroline; Tibell, Lena A.
Research in Science Education, v45 n5 p663-690 Oct 2015
A well-ordered biological complex can be formed by the random motion of its components, i.e. self-assemble. This is a concept that incorporates issues that may contradict students' everyday experiences and intuitions. In previous studies, we have shown that a tangible model of virus self-assembly, used in a group exercise, helps students to grasp the process of self-assembly and in particular the facet "random molecular collision". The present study investigates how and why the model and the group exercise facilitate students' learning of this particular facet. The data analysed consist of audio recordings of six group exercises (n?=?35 university students) and individual semi-structured interviews (n?=?5 university students). The analysis is based on constructivist perspectives of learning, a combination of conceptual change theory and learning with external representations. Qualitative analysis indicates that perceived counterintuitive aspects of the process created a cognitive conflict within learners. The tangible model used in the group exercises facilitated a conceptual change in their understanding of the process. In particular, the tangible model appeared to provide cues and possible explanations and functioned as an "eye-opener" and a "thinking tool". Lastly, the results show signs of emotions also being important elements for successful accommodation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A