Life Sciences

Use of Inquiry Based-Pedagogy During Organism Dissection to Improve Scientific Questioning Skills of Middle School Students

Although many teachers consider dissection an important educational tool, it is mainly used to reinforce information previously gained by studying anatomy and physiology. Rarely is inquiry-based pedagogy used with dissection; instead the activity is mainly teacher-driven and worksheet-based. The purpose of this study was to examine the improvement in student question writing skills when a limited inquiry-based approach was used.


Use of Biology Concept Cartoons to Promote Discussion of Cell Division among High School Biology Students: A Qualitative Study

In this study, the quality of small group discussions stimulated by concept cartoons on the topic of cell division was examined in a class of sixteen high school agriculture biology students. Two hypotheses were tested with this study: 1) the use of concept cartoons on the topic of cell division will increase participation and motivation in high school biology students and 2) the use of concept cartoons will increase conceptual change in high school biology students.


Scaling Ability and Atom and Cell Conceptions and Their Implications for Understanding Cellular Functions by Middle School Students

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.


Mechanisms and Outcomes of Genetic Variation as a Threshold Concept for Understanding Evolution by Natural Selection

Higher education science researchers have postulated that understanding variation is a threshold concept in biology. Variation is evident in all living organisms yet is often overlooked as important or impactful in the process of natural selection. This study explores the idea that understanding the mechanisms and outcomes of genetic variation is a threshold concept for understanding the consequences of that variation, in particular evolution by natural selection.


High school students’ conceptual understanding of natural selection, specifically variation in a population and origin of variation, as influenced by traditional Concept Cartoons, or an animated software program

Concepts in evolution are introduced at the middle school level, but are taught in more depth at the high school level. Students come in with prior conceptions of evolution that influence student learning in the classroom. There are multiple ways of assessing students’ understanding of various concepts of evolution that include interviews, tests, labs, and writing activities.


Comparison of Massed Versus Distributed Use of Natural Selection Concept Cartoons in a Secondary Biology Curriculum

Evolution, by means of natural selection, is a core concept central to understanding biology. A hurdle to effective natural selection instruction is the wide range of alternative conceptions held by students that help them make sense of the world in which they live; including those regarding evolution. Teachers can use formative assessment tools, such as concept cartoons, to identify student conceptions and facilitate conceptual development and progression to scientific conceptions.


Using a Data-Rich Problem (DRP) Task to Promote Student Understanding of Cellular Respiration within an Ecosystem

In this study a design-based research approach was applied in the creation of a data-rich problem (DRP) task intended to improve student achievement in cellular respiration at the ecosystem level; an identified area of difficulty and an area of focus in the Next Generation Science Standards covering Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems in High School Life Science. The respiration DRP task was embedded in an existing learning module developed by Maskiewicz (2006) using Ecospheres®.


Use of Biology Concept Cartoons to Assist Low Performing Middle School Students in Their Understanding of Natural Selection

This study investigated the use of biological concept cartoons in discussions as a strategy to actively engage low performing (LP) seventh grade students to stimulate the formation of more scientifically accurate conceptions. This mixed methods study involved achievement testing, student surveys, video-taping of group discussions and interviews with four LP students. Students received either concept cartoons prompts (CC) or the same prompts with Text only and no visuals (TO).


Autism Spectrum Disorder: Unique Challenges and Specific Demands

PowerPoint presentation, delivered at the MNU Week of Scholarship, Celebration of Student Research and Creativity, April 6, 2017.


Subscribe to RSS - Life Sciences