Make students reasoning on the different levels of protein synthesis by the way of an experimental design

Abstract : In this article, we present an analysis of a didactic situation, which integrates an experimental design by students (grade 11). This situation includes the study of five alleles of the xpa gene involved in the expression of a genetic disease. The problem that students have to solve is to explain why some mutations of the xpa gene have a consequence on the characteristics of the encoded proteins. For this, the students have to make hypotheses about the types of mutations involved; write an experimental procedure before executing it with the software Anagene, and conclude on their hypothesis. Our first goal is to identify the reasoning set up by the students, related to the expression of genetic information. The second goal is to analyze the coherence between the hypothesis made by students and their procedure and conclusion, which a specific attention to the mRNA level. The results show that in 10/28 hypotheses, the students mention the effect of the mutation on the three levels of the protein synthesis (DNA, mRNA, peptide). Moreover, in 10/28 hypotheses, students only mention the name of the mutation that may also imply the three levels. Regarding the coherence between the productions, we find that the mRNA level is present in a total of 20 hypotheses, never in the procedures, and in the conclusion of only three groups of students. However these students adapted their strategy with the alleles and mentioned the mRNA level when it is really important. With this study we have indicators of the reasoning of students in an experimental design. The results of this study help us make some recommendations. They concern the need of scaffolding to help students overcome difficulties. These recommendations will be included in a future large-scale experimentation in the context of a PhD thesis. We will also include a computer environment to support the experimental design.
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
ESERA 2013 - 10th International Conference of the European Science Education Research Association, Sep 2013, Nicosia, Cyprus. (3 p.), 2013
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00871565
Contributeur : Denis Bouhineau <>
Soumis le : mardi 15 octobre 2013 - 17:17:54
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:26:35

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  • HAL Id : hal-00871565, version 1

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Reinaldo Saavedra, Patricia Marzin, Isabelle Girault. Make students reasoning on the different levels of protein synthesis by the way of an experimental design. ESERA 2013 - 10th International Conference of the European Science Education Research Association, Sep 2013, Nicosia, Cyprus. (3 p.), 2013. 〈hal-00871565〉

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