, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 500-508
Date: 29 Aug 2012

Learning the Cell Structures with Three-Dimensional Models: Students’ Achievement by Methods, Type of School and Questions’ Cognitive Level

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Abstract

The cell topic was taught to 9th-grade students in three modes of instruction: (a) students “hands-on,” who constructed three-dimensional cell organelles and macromolecules during the learning process; (b) teacher demonstration of the three-dimensional model of the cell structures; and (c) teaching the cell topic with the regular learning material in an expository mode (which use one- or two-dimensional cell structures as are presented in charts, textbooks and microscopic slides). The sample included 669, 9th-grade students from 25 classes who were taught by 22 Biology teachers. Students were randomly assigned to the three modes of instruction, and two tests in content knowledge in Biology were used. Data were treated with multiple analyses of variance. The results indicate that entry behavior in Biology was equal for all the study groups and types of schools. The “hands-on” learning group who build three-dimensional models through the learning process achieved significantly higher on academic achievements and on the high and low cognitive questions’ levels than the other two groups. The study indicates the advantages students may have being actively engaged in the learning process through the “hands-on” mode of instruction/learning.