Pupils’ understanding of photosynthesis: A questionnaire for the simultaneous assessment of all aspects

  • Marmaroti P
  • Galanopoulou D
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Abstract

In this study, a close-ended questionnaire examining all aspects of photosynthesis simultaneously has been developed and administered to 290 Greek pupils aged 13. It contains complementary or logically related items that permitted us to assess the understanding of each aspect by carrying out cross-analysis. The main findings are: that pupils are not able to conceive photosynthesis as a chemical reaction and they do not appreciate the role of chlorophyll, that pupils' misunderstanding of the energy concept concerns the form of energy required as well as the notion of harnessing the sun's energy, that some pupils hold the misconception that plants receive all their nutrients from the environment, and that pupils confuse photosynthesis with respiration and also believe that respiration occurs when there is no photosynthesis. This questionnaire could be used by teachers for the assessment of their pupils' understanding of each individual aspect of photosynthesis and of the simultaneous understanding of more than one aspect.

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