University of Padova (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 2668-2676
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.0747
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
The present teaching research aimed at testing two experimental hypotheses. The first was to confirm the validity of a laboratory approach and the application of the scientific method in the teaching of scientific disciplines and, more specifically, of biology, compared to the use of more traditional teaching methods, such as the frontal lesson or group work based exclusively on the use of written texts. The laboratory teaching mode is not usually applied in the school in which I carried out the research. The second purpose of the research was to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of treating a topic such as Mendelian Genetics in primary school.

In teaching Biology and Science, laboratory didactics based on the scientific method is crucial. For this reason, the activities proposed in this research according to laboratory didactics were based on it. The scientific method is a type of investigation of Sciences. It consists of the collection of measurable data through observation and experimentation regarding a phenomenon, and the formulation of new hypotheses and theories, which, however, need to be verified experimentally. This scientific approach was used in each teaching phase. The basic concepts of Genetics have been presented, alternating narration and discussion activities to experimental ones, that allowed students to concretely apply their knowledge and skills. To address these issues appropriate instruments and materials have been used, such as a light microscope and various genetic strains of fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster) bred in tubes.

The laboratory approach has been very successful within the experimental group: the pupils could not wait to do this work and, during the lessons, all of them wanted to stay in the front row or to be the first to touch the hearts or use the microscope. The children also recognized an improvement in the quality of learning, stating that they learned best when they could see and touch the objects studied. Genetics aroused great interest in children, especially the direct experimentation of biological reality: the students were fascinated by the differences and similarities that they noticed between the observed fruitflies.

The obtained result showed that both goals have been achieved overall, despite the experimental being very heterogeneous, including some children with Special Educational Needs.
Genetics, life sciences, primary school, scientific method.