How pupils use a model for abstract concepts in genetics

Article


Venville, Grady and Donovan, Jenny. 2008. "How pupils use a model for abstract concepts in genetics." Journal of Biological Education. 43 (1), pp. 6-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2008.9656143
Article Title

How pupils use a model for abstract concepts in genetics

ERA Journal ID20635
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsVenville, Grady (Author) and Donovan, Jenny (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Biological Education
Journal Citation43 (1), pp. 6-14
Number of Pages9
Year2008
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationPhiladelphia, PA. United States
ISSN0021-9266
2157-6009
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2008.9656143
Web Address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00219266.2008.9656143#.U9SL6_mSySo
Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore the way pupils of different age groups use a model to understand abstract
concepts in genetics. Pupils from early childhood to late adolescence were taught about genes and DNA using an analogical model (the wool model) during their regular biology classes. Changing conceptual understandings of the concepts of gene and DNA as a result of the teaching that incorporated the model were investigated. The research design was a multiple case study enacted in four classes (Year 2, Year 5, Year 9 and Year 12). In each class, the teacher used the same wool model to engage pupils in learning about genes and DNA. The results suggest that the role of the wool model was largely determined by the pupils' prior knowledge. The model was malleable and had multiple roles in the teaching and learning process that reflected the pupils' developing conceptual understandings about genes and DNA.

Keywordsanalogical model; genetics; conceptual development
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
390304. Primary education
461199. Machine learning not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Western Australia
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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