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Title: Cross Sectional Study of Students’ Molecular Explanations of Inheritance Patterns
Authors: Castro-Faix, Moraima
Duncan, Ravit Golan
Keywords: Learning Sciences
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Castro-Faix, M. & Duncan, R. G. (2021). Cross Sectional Study of Students’ Molecular Explanations of Inheritance Patterns. In de Vries, E., Hod, Y., & Ahn, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2021. (pp. 91-98). Bochum, Germany: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Genetics is an important topic in the biology curriculum of many countries. Learning genetics is difficult because it involves the need to reason about complex ideas and to link between mechanisms that occur at different levels of organization. Previous research in genetics education has studied either students’ understanding of inheritance patterns or their understandings of molecular genetics; very few studies have examined students’ understanding of the connection between these ideas. To address this gap, we conducted a cross-sectional interview study with students from middle school to high school, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, after they had experienced “status-quo” instruction in genetics. We analyzed student responses and described the molecular mechanistic explanations students used to explain inheritance patterns. Our findings allowed us to propose a progression describing the gradual use of genetics ideas. We discuss the implications of the tentative progression for instruction aimed at supporting reasoning in genetics.
Appears in Collections:ISLS Annual Meeting 2021

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