ERIC Number: EJ760182
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Genetics: Analysis of Secondary Students' Conceptual Status
Tsui, Chi-Yan; Treagust, David F.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v44 n2 p205-235 Feb 2007
This article explores the conceptual change of students in Grades 10 and 12 in three Australian senior high schools when the teachers included computer multimedia to a greater or lesser extent in their teaching of a genetics course. The study, underpinned by a multidimensional conceptual-change framework, used an interpretive approach and a case-based design with multiple data collection methods. Over 4-8 weeks, the students learned genetics in classroom lessons that included "BioLogica" activities, which feature multiple representations. Results of the online tests and interview tasks revealed that most students improved their understanding of genetics as evidenced in the development of genetics reasoning. However, using Thorley's (1990) status analysis categories, a cross-case analysis of the gene conceptions of 9 of the 26 students interviewed indicated that only 4 students' postinstructional conceptions were intelligible-plausible-fruitful. Students' conceptual change was consistent with classroom teaching and learning. Findings suggested that multiple representations supported conceptual understanding of genetics but not in all students. It was also shown that status can be a viable hallmark enabling researchers to identify students' conceptual change that would otherwise be less accessible. Thorley's method for analyzing conceptual status is discussed.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Grade 10, Concept Formation, Genetics, Grade 12, Secondary School Science, Foreign Countries, High School Students, Computer Assisted Instruction, Case Method (Teaching Technique), Comprehension, Logical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Scientific Concepts
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 12; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia