Understanding photosynthesis and respiration - is it a problem?: eighth graders' written and oral reasoning about photosynthesis and respiration
2009 (English)In: Science education: Shared issues, common future / [ed] Mijung Kim, Sung Won Hwang & Aik-Ling Tan, Singapore: National Institute of Education , 2009, 1281-1318 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Earlier studies show that students at almost all school levels have difficulties to understand photosynthesis and respiration. However, international evaluations like TIMSS and PISA, present students’ understanding about photosynthesis and respiration without any connection to teaching and classroom context. Our research interest is to see to what extent ecology teaching develops students’ understanding of photosynthesis and respiration and how students can demonstrate their learning in both a written test and a guided interview.
Ten weeks of 66 students’ ordinary ecology lessons were observed, their ecology tests were collected and 23 individual interviews were accomplished. The test results were analysed according to three categories of understanding. The interviews were analysed by how the students recalled their subject content knowledge, which rendered three types of reasoning.
Both oral and written reasoning confirm a substantial learning, with more knowledge of photosynthesis than respiration. Analyses of test results and understanding as presented in interviews did not always correspond. Students with high scores in test showed problems to make a comprehensive picture of the concepts during interview, and students who tried and managed to connect concepts during the interview scored low in test. The interviews showed the importance of letting students try to explain concepts and to correct themselves. A potato gave both high and low scored students, an aha-reaction and truly satisfaction when they realised that photosynthesis and respiration were something else than a formula.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: National Institute of Education , 2009. 1281-1318 p.
secondary school, photosynthesis, respiration, written test, oral reasoning, ecology teaching
Research subject didactics of natural science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32072OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-32072DiVA: diva2:300871
Also Submitted 2009 to JBE (Journal of Biological Education)2010-03-012010-03-012015-10-27Bibliographically approved