Scholarly article on topic 'Modelling about energy transformation in living organism'

Modelling about energy transformation in living organism Academic research paper on "Materials engineering"

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Abstract of research paper on Materials engineering, author of scientific article — M. Handan Günesa

Abstract This study aims to examine the effects of modelling on understanding of photosynthesis and respiration the basic reactions related to energy transformation in living organism and elimination of misconception about these topics. The study was conducted with a total of 82 students (42 experimental and 40 control groups). Success states of both group were determined by applying pre-test and the post-test containing 15 questions (Cronbach-α: 0.78) with the basic concepts related to subject and subsequently 6 questions of disclosure were asked in order to determine misconceptions. Traditional instruction method was applied to both group for explanation of energy conversion reactions in photosynthesis and respiration. Then the experimental group improved their own model. Student presented his models; subsequently the way of best modelling was discussed after the completion of all presentations. The experimental groups were more successful and have less misconception than the control group. The students have misconceptions related with particularly quality of light, ATP synthesis and electron transport system. The students think that photosynthesis is a food production mechanism and respiration is a fragmentation reactions of nutrients and these are not related to energy transformation. The application was met with interest by students, and it was thought to be useful especially in teaching of abstract concepts.

Academic research paper on topic "Modelling about energy transformation in living organism"

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Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 15 (2011) 1183-1187

WCES-2011

Modelling about energy transformation in living organism

M. Handan Gune§a*

aOndokuz Mayis Universitesi Egitim Fakultesi OOFMA Bolumu, Biyoloji Ogretmenligi ABD, Samsun,Turkey

Abstract

This study aims to examine the effects of modelling on understanding of photosynthesis and respiration the basic reactions related to energy transformation in living organism and elimination of misconception about these topics. The study was conducted with a total of 82 students (42 experimental and 40 control groups). Success states of both group were determined by applying pre-test and the post-test containing 15 questions (Cronbach-a: 0.78) with the basic concepts related to subject and subsequently 6 questions of disclosure were asked in order to determine misconceptions. Traditional instruction method was applied to both group for explanation of energy conversion reactions in photosynthesis and respiration. Then the experimental group improved their own model. Student presented his models; subsequently the way of best modelling was discussed after the completion of all presentations. The experimental groups were more successful and have less misconception than the control group. The students have misconceptions related with particularly quality of light, ATP synthesis and electron transport system. The students think that photosynthesis is a food production mechanism and respiration is a fragmentation reactions of nutrients and these are not related to energy transformation. The application was met with interest by students, and it was thought to be useful especially in teaching of abstract concepts. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Photosynthesis, respiration, teaching with modelling

1. Introduction

If children are wanted to cope with difficulties which they come across throughout their life and if they are wanted to be educated as useful individuals for the society, the education given to them should develop their ingenuity, self-confidence, independent thinking, taking responsibility and problem solving potentials. Therefore to embody concepts of life for them would considerable contribute for the development of their creative characteristics? Consequently, novel education strategies in biology as is in all applied sciences might be developed in order to teach children certain abstract conceptions correctly, meaningfully and associating them with each other in this education process. Modelling is one of the most effective strategies used in teaching the abstract concepts, non-observable events and assets in biology.

In science literature modelling is whole operation starting out from available information to explain or to make clear an unknown event, and end product of modelling is characterized as a model (Harrison, 2001; Treagust, 2002). According to Justi and Gilbert (2002), one of the most significant functions of modelling is to simplify the complex facts. Modelling in science research is very important for foundation of a hypothesis or describing a scientific event (Gilbert, 1995). Modelling and models still take an important part in science literacy (Gilbert & Boulter, 1998). Their significant roles in education lead to many studies in science education (Bent, 1984; Cherif, Adams & Cannon, 1997; Erduran, 2001; Gulgigek, Bagci and Mogol, 2003; Harrison & Treagust, 1996 and 1998).

Students at elementary and high school always find 'energy' concept, its conversion and conversation difficult. In fact, energy concept is a cornerstone for biology education to explain many phenomena such as work biochemical

1877-0428 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.03.260

reactions, chemical bindings, photosynthesis, respiration, sense of sight, nerves system etc (Watts, 1983; Else, 1988). Because of abstract characteristic of energy and related concepts such as; photosynthesis and respiration have been studied in different perspectives (Amir & Tamir, 1994; Yaman, 2005; Hirga, £alik & Akdeniz, 2008; Gültepe, Yildinm & Sinan, 2008). Abstract concepts in students' learning process are quite tedious and needs more than description of these concepts. Through the years, the most difficult concepts for all students to grasp have been photosynthesis, cellular respiration and nervous system. Photosynthesis is a little easier for them to understand because they can modelling and observe it an experimentally in laboratory. But, respiration is known as breathing and cellular respiration is a completely unfamiliar and raises misconceptions. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use the light energy to produce food molecules and cellular respiration converts into ATP. The energy released is trapped in the form of ATP for use by all the energy-consuming activities of the cell.

In the present study, following the explanation of the basic reactions of the energy transformation in biology which is one of the hard topics to understand such as respiration and photosynthesis, it was aimed to test the efficacy of this application by making models in order to get a good understanding in energy transformation and to overcome the present concept errors. Those complex events like several reactions and abstract concepts could make students confused, and making students to do models by themselves could constitute an education and a learning environment for them. Students' genuine models were done by themselves in order to develop their particular creativeness.

2. Method

In this study, the effects of modelling on understanding of photosynthesis and respiration, the basic reactions related to energy transformation in living organism and elimination of misconception about these topics have been investigated. The study was conducted with 82 (40 control and 42 experimental groups) third grade students in science teacher program of education faculty, Ondokuz Mayis University. Success states of both group were determined by applying pre and post-test containing 15 questions (Cronbach-a: 0.78) with the basic concepts related to topics and subsequently 6 questions of disclosure were asked in order to determine misconceptions. Traditional instruction method was applied to control group for explanation of energy conversion reactions in photosynthesis and respiration. Topics were given to the experimental group using traditional instruction method and then the students were informed about model building (modelling). Different materials (as cardboard, play dough, plaster, yarn, wire, buttons, beads, batteries, bulbs, cable, etc.) were given to the students to create their own models especially about electron transport system (cythocromes), light reactions in photosynthesis, ATP formation reactions, different energy forms (heat, ATP energy to be released of respiration and photosynthesis). All students improved their own model and all models have been investigated by other students and lecturer to understand the models are related to topics or not. And subsequently the models were discussed after the completion of all presentations. The results of pre-test and post-test analysed by SPSS 15.0 statistical programs. The comparison of success between two groups is done by t-test (Paired and Independent). Also in order to determine the misconceptions on the topics, the answers of 6 classic descriptive questions asked by examining were assessment by the data analysis method of Westbrook and Marek (1991).

3. Results

Table 1. Independent t-test results regarding control and experimental group students' pre-test scores

Test Group Number of student (N) Mean (X) Standard Deviation (SD) t value p value Commentary

Experimental 42 38.00 13.075 p > 0.05

Pre- test .687 .494 not significant

Control 40 36.15 11.173

According to the results of pre-tests, there was no significant differences between experimental and control groups (t= .687; p = .494). And it showed that two groups were similar in terms of achievement levels at the beginning (table 1).

Table 2. Paired t-test results regarding control and experimental group students' pre-test and post-test scores

Number of Student (N)

Mean (X)

Standart Deviation (SD)

t value

p value Commentary

Pre-test Post- test Pre -test Post-test

Experimental

Control

42 42 40 40

38.00 71.95 36.15 60.00

13.075 12.358 11.173 7.929

-45.334

-15.834

p < 0.05 significant

p < 0.05 significant

There were significant differences between within-group pre-test and post-test scores in both experimental (t=-45.334, p=.000) and control (t=-15834, p=.000) groups in favour of post-test scores (Table 2). After determined topics were taught to the experimental and control groups, an increase in the level of students' achievement and thus a significant academic achievement in favour of post test is an expected result. The means of pre test and post test scores in both experimental and control groups increased but the increase in academic achievement in experimental group was greater than that in control group.

Table 3. Independent t-test results regarding control and experimental group students' post-test scores

Groups

Number of Student

Mean (X)

Standart Deviation (SD)

t value

p value

Commentary

Post-test

Experimental Control

71.95 60.00

12.358 7.929

p < 0.05 significant

Significant difference (t=5.184; p=.000) was observed between students in control and experimental groups in terms of post test scores (Table 3). This difference indicated that the use of modelling application in experimental group increased academic achievement significantly in comparison with those in control group.

Table 4. Percentage distribution of pre- test descriptive questions' answers of experimental and control group

Control pre- test (n=40) Experimental pre- test (n=42)

nswers Questions (%) Answers Questions (%)

1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

a 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 a 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0

b 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 b 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0

c 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 c 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0 00.0

d 7.5 17.5 15.0 10.0 12.5 5.0 d 7.2 14.3 9.5 11.9 7.2 2.4

e 35.0 37.5 45.0 30.0 32.5 42.5 e 26.2 33.3 42.9 23.8 30.9 42.9

f 57.5 45.0 40.0 60.0 55.0 52.5 f 66.6 52.4 47.6 64.3 61.9 54.7

Total 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 Total 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

a) Full understanding, b) Good understanding, c) Partial understanding, d) Partial understanding + misconception e) The misconception, f) Not understanding

When the responses to the classical questions which were asked before teaching the topics were analyzed, it was revealed that the great majority of the students were unfamiliar with the subject or had misconceptions related to these topics (Table 4).

Tablo 5. Percentage distribution of post- test descriptive questions' answers of experimental and control groups

Control pre- test (n=40)_Experimental pre- test (n=42)

nswers Questions (%) Answers Questions (%)

1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

2.5 7.5 5.0 10.0 5.0 5.0 a 11.9 14.3 11.9 16.7 9.5 7.1

15.0 17.5 12.5 12.5 10.0 7.5 b 23.9 28.6 26.2 28.6 31.0 33.3

22.5 25.0 27.5 30.0 20.0 27.5 c 38.0 30.9 33.3 35.6 33.3 28.6

30.0 27.5 25.0 27.5 32.5 22.5 d 11.9 16.7 14.3 11.9 9.5 19.1

17.5 12.5 20.0 12.5 22.5 20.0 e 9.5 7.1 11.9 2.4 9.5 7.1

12.5 10.0 10.0 7.5 10.0 17.5 f 4.8 2.4 2.4 4.8 7.2 4.8

otal 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 Total 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

a) Full understanding, b) Good understanding, c) Partial understanding, d) Partial understanding + misconception , e) The misconception, f) Not understanding

When the responses to the annotated questions which were asked to both experimental and control groups after teaching the topic were analyzed, it can be said that students learnt the subject and there was a great decrease in the number of students' misconceptions (Table 5). When post-test scores of experimental and control groups were compared, it was seen that results were in favour of experimental group. Accordingly, the use of modelling application led an increase in the knowledge level of the students; there was a decrease in misconceptions such as light reactions, the concept of energy, transformation of energy, thermal energy, the use of light by chlorophyll, ATP synthesis.

4. Conclusion and Discussion

Abstract concepts are not easy to instruct in educational process and mental restructuring becomes a great problem. It is impossible to achieve a meaningful learning without mental modelling Therefore, visuals aids which enable perception and visualisation such as computer animations, posters and models are used in teaching abstract concepts. Because these kinds of visual aids stimulate more than one sense and students do not forget these experiences easily and thus more effective learning is achieved (Friedler & Tamir, 1990; Yigit & Akdeniz, 2000).

Models which are scientific and mental activities used to ease understanding of seemingly complex events by humans (Paton, 1996) are widely used in Biology courses to achieve a meaningful learning and thus create a thought system for the individuals to understand their own lives. Models are especially used in mental configuration of abstract concepts and unfamiliar phenomenon is explained by familiar phenomenon. In our study it was observed that students could not envision some basic reactions and did not comprehend different energy transformation of ATP synthesis.

According to Yaman and Soran (2000) and Tekkaya et al (2000), biology courses which are inseparable components of science are being taught using teacher-centred or old-fashioned analogue way of teaching methods and strict involvement of course books. According to Gune§, Celikler and Gune§ (2006), students exhibit negative attitudes towards monotonous biology courses. Therefore different teaching methods should be used to improve student participation.

As a conclusion, it was revealed that students learned the basic reactions related to energy transformation in living matters by the help of the models much better and achieved self learning while creating the models. Learning by doing and experiences increased students1 success level. When post test results were compared, it was seen that t-test results were in favour of experimental group students. Additionally, when the responses to the pre test classical questions were analyzed, it was revealed that the great majority of the students were unfamiliar with the subject or had misconceptions related to the topic. After the topic was taught, correct answers increased whereas there was a decrease in the number of misconceptions. When experimental and control groups were compared, there were

differences in favour of experimental group. Study results revealed that the use of modelling application led better understanding of the topics and a decrease in the number of misconceptions.

We suggest that abstract biology topics can be taught by developing similar models and further studies are needed. In our opinion, the more different viewpoints arise in education process the students enthusiastically and meaningful learn the biology topics in the educational processes.

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