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ERIC Number: EJ785998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Systems Modelling and the Development of Coherent Understanding of Cell Biology
Verhoeff, Roald P.; Waarlo, Arend Jan; Boersma, Kerst Th.
International Journal of Science Education, v30 n4 p543-568 Mar 2008
This article reports on educational design research concerning a learning and teaching strategy for cell biology in upper-secondary education introducing "systems modelling" as a key competence. The strategy consists of four modelling phases in which students subsequently develop models of free-living cells, a general two-dimensional model of cells, a three-dimensional model of plant cells, and finally they are engaged in formal thinking by modelling life phenomena to a hierarchical systems model. The strategy was thought out, elaborated, and tested in classrooms in several research cycles. Throughout the field-tests, research data were collected by means of classroom observations, interviews, audio-taped discussions, completed worksheets, written tests, and questionnaires. Reflection on the research findings eventuated in reshaping and formalizing the learning and teaching strategy, which is presented here. The results show that although acquiring systems thinking competence at the metacognitive level needs more effort, our strategy contributed to improving learning outcomes; that is, acquisition of a coherent conceptual understanding of cell biology and acquisition of initial systems thinking competence, with modelling being the key activity. (Contains 1 table, 4 figures, and 2 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A