"과학문화교육"

2006-04-25 (Vol 3, No 4)

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과학교육학 학위논문 요약과 종합해설

AN INVESTIGATION OF FIFTH AND EIGHTH GRADE KOREAN STUDENTS' MISCONCEPTIONS OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS

(Doctoral Dissertation Abstract)

The purpose of this study was to assess fifth- and eighth-grade Korean students' misconceptions of concepts related to photosynthesis, and to investigate change in student's misconceptions and the relationships between student's concept understanding and logical reasoning ability and textbook emphasis and background variables.

Three instruments were developed for this study. The photosynthesis Concepts Test (PCT) was developed for assessing students' understandings of concepts related to photosynthesis; the Piagetian Logical Reasoning Test (PLRT) for assessing three logical reasoning skills included in the PCT-- control of variables, combinatorial reasoning, and correlational reasoning; and a questionnaire for gathering information about students' background variables.

A textbook analysis was made of Korean science textbooks from fourth through eighth grades to measure the emphasis by the textbooks on the PCT items.

The three instruments were administered to 201 fifth- and 239 eighth-grade Korean students, followed by interviews with 20 students.

The results of the study showed that students in both groups had misconceptions on concepts related to photosynthesis--the meaning of "making food," the definition of food, the use of light by plants, the functions of plant roots and leaves, photosynthetic products, and requirements of elements for photosynthesis.

Reduction in misconceptions between fifth and eighth grades was shown in items regarding the use of light by plants, exchange of materials between organisms a system, knowledge of glucose, protein, fat and nitrogen, and the skill to read a graph. These items all had high textbook emphasis at the upper grade levels and required higher reasoning levels.

Regression results indicated that prior knowledge and logical reasoning ability were two major predictors of the PCT achievement, accounting for 22 percent of the variance at the fifth-grade level and 40 percent of the variance at the eighth-grade level.

Further research is needed including experimental studies on reducing students' misconceptions by modifications of instructional conditions in terms of abstractness, appropriateness, and reasoning ability required.

By
Jung-il Cho, Ph. D.
The Ohio State University, 1988
Professor Robert W. Howe, Advisor

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