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Introduction of DNA electrophoresis into the teaching primary school

Tadeja Klenar (2017) Introduction of DNA electrophoresis into the teaching primary school. MSc thesis.

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    The main purpose of this MA thesis is to find out whether the nucleic acid electrophoresis experiment should be implemented in primary schools, how successfully students pass the preliminary and final test on electrophoresis and how this teaching technique stimulates the students' interest in additional in-depth studying of chemistry. We conducted a thorough analysis with the aim of discovering potential differences in marks and long-term knowledge on electrophoresis between students with different levels of autonomous and controlled motivation. The aim of this MA thesis is also to ascertain how the students' different levels of chemistry study skills influence their test marks. For the purpose of this research we developed and optimised an experiment on the principle of DNA electrophoresis and DNA profiling which the students can perform independently. The experiment is suitable for laboratory work in primary schools and consists of electrophoresis with marker pigments or food pigments. We also constructed a device for electrophoresis that illustrates the method of conducting the electrophoresis procedure. We provided the necessary instruments (automatic pipette) for carrying out the DNA electrophoresis procedure so that the students could test their manual capabilities with unknown instruments. The empirical part of this research included 129 students of the 8th and 9th grade who attended optional subjects “Experiments in chemistry” and “Chemistry in everyday life” at primary schools in Ljubljana and its vicinity. Before conducting the experiment, the students filled out a questionnaire entitled “Reasons why students study chemistry” and passed a preliminary test. After finishing the experiment, they filled out another questionnaire entitled “Study session performance evaluation” and took a test on electrophoresis. Two months after the experiment, the students passed the same test again and the gathered data was quantitatively analysed with the SPSS statistical program. The research shows that students successfully passed both preliminary and final tests on electrophoresis despite the difficulty and abstract nature of the conducted experiment. On average, they achieved 50% of all points on both tests. We were able to obtain interesting results by means of analysis of test performance on electrophoresis based on different levels of students’ situational interest, autonomous and controlled motivation and chemistry study skills.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: primary school, DNA electrophoresis, chemistry class, experimental work, motivation, interest
    Number of Pages: 57
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Iztok DevetakMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11747145)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4789
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 11:48
    Last Modified: 03 Oct 2017 11:48
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4789

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