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ERIC Number: EJ1171553
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Energy Connections and Misconnections across Chemistry and Biology
Kohn, Kathryn P.; Underwood, Sonia M.; Cooper, Melanie M.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v17 n1 Article 3 Mar 2018
Despite the number of university students who take courses in multiple science disciplines, little is known about how they connect concepts between disciplines. Energy is a concept that underlies all scientific phenomena and, as such, provides an appropriate context in which to investigate student connections and misconnections across disciplines. In this study, university students concurrently enrolled in introductory chemistry and biology were interviewed to explore their perceptions of the integration of energy both within and across the disciplines, and how they attempted to accommodate and reconcile different disciplinary approaches to energy, to inform future, interdisciplinary course reform. Findings suggest that, while students believed energy to be important to the scientific world and to the disciplines of biology and chemistry, the extent to which it was seen as central to success in their courses varied. Differences were also apparent in students' descriptions of the molecular-level mechanisms by which energy transfer occurs. These findings reveal a disconnect between how energy is understood and used in introductory science course work and uncovers opportunities to make stronger connections across the disciplines. We recommend that instructors engage in interdisciplinary conversations and consider the perspectives and goals of other disciplines when teaching introductory science courses.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE0816692