The effects of the SUN project on teacher knowledge and self-Efficacy regarding biological energy transfer are significant and long-Lasting: Results of a randomized controlled trial

Ann Finney Batiza, Mary Gruhl, Bo Zhang, Tom Harrington, Marisa Roberts, Donna Flamme La, Mary Anne Haasch, Jonathan Knopp, Gina Vogt, David Goodsell, Eric Hagedorn, David Marcey, Mark Hoelzer, Dave Nelson

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biological energy flow has been notoriously difficult to teach. Our approach to this topic relies on abiotic and biotic examples of the energy released by moving electrons in thermodynamically spontaneous reactions. A series of analogical model-building experiences was supported with common language and representations including manipulatives. These materials were designed to help learners understand why electrons move in a hydrogen explosion and hydrogen fuel cell, so they could ultimately understand the rationale for energy transfer in the mitochondrion and the chloroplast. High school biology teachers attended a 2-wk Students Understanding eNergy (SUN) workshop during a randomized controlled trial. These treatment group teachers then took hydrogen fuel cells, manipulatives, and other materials into their regular biology classrooms. In this paper, we report significant gains in teacher knowledge and self-efficacy regarding biological energy transfer in the treatment group versus randomized controls. Significant effects on treatment group teacher knowledge and self-efficacy were found not only post-SUN workshop but even 1 yr later. Teacher knowledge was measured with both a multiple-choice exam and a drawing with a written explanation. Teacher confidence in their ability to teach biological energy transfer was measured by a modified form of the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument, In-Service A. Professional development implications regarding this topic are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-305
Number of pages19
JournalCBE Life Sciences Education
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 12 2013

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Batiza, A. F., Gruhl, M., Zhang, B., Harrington, T., Roberts, M., La, D. F., Haasch, M. A., Knopp, J., Vogt, G., Goodsell, D., Hagedorn, E., Marcey, D., Hoelzer, M., & Nelson, D. (2013). The effects of the SUN project on teacher knowledge and self-Efficacy regarding biological energy transfer are significant and long-Lasting: Results of a randomized controlled trial. CBE Life Sciences Education, 12(2), 287-305. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.12-09-0155