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ERIC Number: EJ1097486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 69
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
Molecular Mechanistic Reasoning: Toward Bridging the Gap between the Molecular and Cellular Levels in Life Science Education
van Mil, Marc H. W.; Postma, Paulien A.; Boerwinkel, Dirk Jan; Klaassen, Kees; Waarlo, Arend Jan
Science Education, v100 n3 p517-585 May 2016
Although learning about DNA, RNA, and proteins is part of the upper secondary biology curriculum in most countries, many studies report that students fail to connect molecular knowledge to phenomena at the higher level of cells, organs, and organisms. As a result, many students use memorization and rote learning as a coping strategy when presented with molecular-level concepts. This study explores the potential of a new educational approach that aims at facilitating students to interpret animations and graphics of (sub)cellular processes as mechanistic explanations based on molecular interactions so as to bridge the explanatory gap between the molecular and cellular levels. The study presents the theoretical basis for a learning trajectory based on molecular mechanistic reasoning and shows in a small-scale test of the educational approach that it is within reach for pre-university students (aged 17-18 years) to interpret the visual models of (sub)cellular processes using a multilevel mechanistic perspective on (sub)cellular events. It is argued that this perspective helps students get to grips with cellular complexity in life science education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A