This study investigated high school students’ definitions and interpretations of what an animal is, with a focus on marine animals. Past studies have shown that students’ definitions of animals often center on themes of movement or appendages. In this study, student responses were analyzed against a predetermined definition of an animal--a multicellular eukaryotic organism that is heterotrophic. Marine animals consistently misidentified by the students were also identified.
The data for this study was collected through surveys and interviews, using ninth grade high school students. Students were asked to identify marine organisms as animals or not, and to provide a definition or reasoning for classifying organisms as animals.
The purpose of this study is to better inform educators of the preconceptions about animals, specifically marine animals, that students bring into the classroom. This will allow educators to address those preconceptions to encourage a fuller understanding of animals in their students.
|Commitee:||Gomez Zwiep, Susan, Kisiel, James|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Secondary education, Science education|
|Keywords:||Animal, Biology, Classification, Conceptual change, Marine, Preconception|
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