A Qualitative Study Concerning the 6th Grade Students’ Conceptual Structures about the Cell Concept

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Year-Number: 2014-Volume 6, Issue 3

Abstract

This study aims to investigate 6th grade students’ conceptual structures about the cell concept in science education. For this purpose, drawing method, open-ended questions and word association test were applied to 65 middle school students. Descriptive analysis and content analysis were used to analyze the data. It was found that there were a wide range of alternative conceptions in students’ drawings and definitions of the cell. They mostly designated the nucleus, cell membrane and the mitochondria as the most important parts or organelles. The participants association of the cell concept with daily life was mostly categorized as ‘awareness generated by knowledge’, ‘health’ and ‘finding it necessary for the future’. Also, the data collected through the word association test was categorized under 5 categories and ‘defining the cell’, ‘parts and the organelles of the cell’ and ‘giving examples to the cell’ were the mostly persisting ones. We conclude that the 6th grade students who met for the first time with the cell concept at school had insufficient conceptions about that concept.

Keywords

Abstract

This study aims to investigate 6th grade students’ conceptual structures about the cell concept in science education. For this purpose, drawing method, open-ended questions and word association test were applied to 65 middle school students. Descriptive analysis and content analysis were used to analyze the data. It was found that there were a wide range of alternative conceptions in students’ drawings and definitions of the cell. They mostly designated the nucleus, cell membrane and the mitochondria as the most important parts or organelles. The participants association of the cell concept with daily life was mostly categorized as ‘awareness generated by knowledge’, ‘health’ and ‘finding it necessary for the future’. Also, the data collected through the word association test was categorized under 5 categories and ‘defining the cell’, ‘parts and the organelles of the cell’ and ‘giving examples to the cell’ were the mostly persisting ones. We conclude that the 6th grade students who met for the first time with the cell concept at school had insufficient conceptions about that concept.

Keywords