Exploring the influence of the mass media on primary students' conceptual understanding of genetics

Donovan, Jennifer and Venville, Grady (2012) Exploring the influence of the mass media on primary students' conceptual understanding of genetics. Education 3-13: the professional journal for primary education, 40 (1). pp. 75-95. ISSN 0300-4279

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The new Australian Curriculum ignites debate about science content appropriate for primary school children. Abstract genetics concepts such as genes and DNA are still being avoided in primary school, yet research has shown that, by age 10, many students have heard of DNA and/or genes. Scientific concepts appear in the mass media, but primary students' exposure to the media and the potential influence it has on their understandings is a neglected area of science education research. This study explores the conceptions that Year 5–7 students in one Australian school hold about genes and DNA and compares that with their levels
of exposure to the mass media. Quantitative and qualitative data from detailed media questionnaires and in-depth interviews with 25 children were examined for any indication of a relationship between media exposure and knowledge of genes and DNA. Findings indicate television was the participating students' major source of information about genetics, but, generally, as knowledge about genetics increased, so did the incidence of misconceptions.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2014 06:43
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2017 04:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: primary science; science conceptions; genetics; genes; DNA; mass media' television
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170203 Knowledge Representation and Machine Learning
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930399 Curriculum not elsewhere classified
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2012.635058
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25623

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