Students' understanding of cells & heredity: Patterns of understanding in the context of a curriculum implementation in fifth & seventh grades

Dante Cisterna, Michelle Williams, Joi Merritt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

ABSTRACT This study explores upper-elementary and early-middle-school students' ideas about cells and inheritance and describes patterns of understanding for these topics. Data came from students' responses to embedded assessments included in a technology-enhanced curriculum designed to help students learn about cells and heredity. Our findings suggest that the instruction aided students in progressing to more sophisticated levels of understanding, especially by reviewing non-normative ideas and integrating new content into their previous understandings. Students, however, tended to struggle in distinguishing genes, chromosomes, and DNA and had some difficulties connecting the cell division process with the inheritance of genetic material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

Keywords

  • Genetics
  • biology inheritance
  • heredity
  • middle school science
  • patterns of understanding
  • student learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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