Table of Contents
ISRN Education
Volume 2013, Article ID 741807, 13 pages
Research Article

Investigation of Students’ Alternative Conceptions of Terms and Processes of Gene Technology

Department of Biology Didactics, University of Bayreuth, University Campus/NW I, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany

Received 8 February 2013; Accepted 18 March 2013

Academic Editors: L. Lavelle and M. J. Raddick

Copyright © 2013 Gaitano Franke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Our study monitored students’ alternative conceptions about some fundamental terms and processes of gene technology. Novice secondary school 10th graders (144 in total) described their conceptions in an open questionnaire. Using inductive category development, we iteratively categorized their responses. We found 13 categories describing students’ conceptions. Common categories were allocated to more than one different term or process. Specific categories were found only in the context of explaining one term or process. Using the collected conceptions, we then developed a questionnaire, which we administered to monitor the students’ conceptual change during a hands-on approach in our outreach lab. Knowledge about these conceptions and their consideration within science teaching should be of value both for preservice teacher education and for professional development of in-service teachers.