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ERIC Number: EJ853603
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4308
Connecting Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration: Preservice Teachers' Conceptions
Brown, Mary H.; Schwartz, Renee S.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v46 n7 p791-812 Sep 2009
The biological processes of photosynthesis and plant cellular respiration include multiple biochemical steps, occur simultaneously within plant cells, and share common molecular components. Yet, learners often compartmentalize functions and specialization of cell organelles relevant to these two processes, without considering the interconnections as well as the significance of the plant as an independent biological system functioning as a nested component within local and global ecosystems. Understanding connections among biological systems at macro and micro levels is important to biological literacy. This study examined preservice elementary teachers' conceptions of photosynthesis and plant cellular respiration, with attention to interconnections and systems. Participants were limited in their understanding of the processes impacting multiple ecological levels, and they held inadequate representations of interconnections between the processes. Participants' views were laden with sociological and egocentric components. They often compared plant functions with analogous human functions. Most participants viewed plants as dependent on humans while having societal use. Justifications for views included nominal knowledge of the processes; experiential authoritarian reasoning; and anthropomorphism. We discuss instructional implications in light of the findings. (Contains 7 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A