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Characteristics related to retention of genetics concepts in high school students

15 January 1989


This study proposed to find how weH high school students l·etailled information about molecular and classical genetics the year after they had learned the information. The literature surrounding retention of concepts shows that for students to retain information it must be relevant and meaningful to them when they first learn it. Unfortunately, situations that make learning meaningful are often not found in highschool classrooms. Student characteristics also playa major role in concept learning and retention. This study was an effort to find if the two general categories of genetic concepts were retained differently by the students and whether this difference could be linked to student characteristics. Students (109) from one high school who had completed one year of introductory biology the prior school year completed a short questionnaire pertaining to genetics and to their personal characteristics. The data showed that males were More likely to score higher on the molecular genetics questions than females and that students who reported that their most. favorite aspect of high school was their friends scored higher than those who reported that their most favorite aspect was courses. Other conclusions were not possible from the limited number of students reporting in some categories. The overall hypothesis that there would be a difference between retention of the two types of concepts was not supported by this data.


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