WHDL - 00010003
WHDL - 00010003
Because students in middle school through high school demonstrate persistent alternative conceptions regarding atoms and cells and their functional relationships, it is important to investigate ways in which to refine and correct these ideas so that students have a stronger foundation upon which to build concepts about cellular biology. Research has also shown that people generally have difficulty scaling objects outside of the macro scale. This study demonstrates the ability of middle school students to improve their ability to scale objects in the macro, micro and nano scales and use the improved sense of scale to better understand the relationships between atoms and cells, two concepts that are currently taught in isolation in California middle schools. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, student improvement in atom and cell concepts were measured. Students who could not rank an atom smaller than a cell in a size--‐ranking activity after receiving instruction in size and scale skills performed lower than those who could in overall understanding of atom/cell relationships. Additionally, student interviews revealed that students who developed a more expert understanding of the relationship between atoms and cells also gained a much stronger and deeper grasp of protein synthesis as exhibited by their more articulate and detailed oral descriptions of the process. This research can help inform the development of learning progressions in middle school science, particularly in a time when new standards such as Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards are being introduced.
This collection consists of theses for the Master of Science in General Biology at Point Loma Nazarene University. These items were provided to the library by their authors with the permission required to make them freely available for access. These works remain the intellectual property of their authors.