Doctoral thesis
Open access

Secondary School Students' Teleology and Essentialism Conceptions in the Context of Genetics

ContributorsStern, Florian
Defense date2020-07-08

Biology education research has shown that intuitions such as design teleology (organisms' characteristics are designed to fulfil some goal) and psychological essentialism (organisms have fixed essences) are conceptual obstacles for learning evolution. The present study investigates whether these obstacles also occur when learning genetics concepts. To this end, a questionnaire and an implicit association test to probe for teleology and essentialism (mis)conceptions in the context of genetics were developed. The development and validation process of both tests was a goal by itself, for which qualitative and quantitative methods were used on a study sample of 1010 Swiss and French secondary school students. Results indicated that students 1/ exhibit teleology and essentialism misconceptions in the context of genetics; 2/ implicitly associate genetics and teleology concepts, as well as genetics and essentialism concepts, leading to recommendations to improve teaching about genetics.

  • Conceptions
  • Concepts
  • Intuitions
  • Genetics
  • Teleology
  • Essentialism
  • Genetic teleology
  • Genetic essentialism
Citation (ISO format)
STERN, Florian. Secondary School Students” Teleology and Essentialism Conceptions in the Context of Genetics. 2020. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:144113
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Creation10/26/2020 12:41:00 PM
First validation10/26/2020 12:41:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 10:56:46 PM
Status update03/15/2023 10:56:46 PM
Last indexation10/19/2023 1:53:35 PM
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