How pupils use a model for abstract concepts in genetics

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. ISSN 0021-9266


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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2014 06:01
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2015 05:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: analogical model; genetics; conceptual development
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 > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/00219266.2008.9656143

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