Students' cellular and molecular explanations of genetic phenomena

Gili Marbach-Ad*, Ruth Stavy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genetic concepts are assigned to three principal levels of organisation: macroscopic level, microscopic level, and submicroscopic level. In order to probe Israeli students' understanding at each level, and to gain a sense of their ability to connect ideas and concepts across different levels, we asked three different types of question. Two of the question types ask students to make a bridge between levels by asking them to explain a phenomenon at one level using concepts and processes from a different level. For example, to explain the appearance of phenotypic traits (macroscopic level) using concepts like genes or chromosomes (microscopic level). One question dealt with the molecular level only. We investigated three populations: 9th graders, 12th graders, and pre-service teachers. Based on our findings we suggest improvements both in terms of teaching methods and curriculum content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cellular
  • Concepts
  • Genetics
  • Molecular


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