Content-Based and Cognitive-Linguistic Analysis of Cell Membrane Biology: Educational Reconstruction of Scientific Conceptions

Faculty/Professorship: Natural Sciences Didactics  
Author(s): Johann, Leonie; Groß, Jorge ; Messig, Denis  ; Rusk, Fredrik
Title of the Journal: Education Sciences
ISSN: 2227-7102
Publisher Information: Basel : MDPI
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 10
Issue: 6
Pages: 1-18
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.3390/educsci10060151
By means of their pivotal role in the outbreak of a variety of diseases, such as, recently, COVID-19, the molecular aspects of cell membrane function have gained considerable attention from researchers in recent decades. The resulting information explosion and the growing interdisciplinary character of cell biology seems, however, to not be represented in science classrooms. Hence, there appears to be a gap between what is scientifically known and what is actually taught in classrooms. Framed by the model of educational reconstruction (MER), the aim of our study is therefore to identify scientific core ideas of cell membrane biology from an educational point of view. This is achieved by conducting qualitative content analysis of relevant cell biology literature. By using Conceptual Metaphor as a theory of understanding, we additionally illuminate the experiential grounding of scientific conceptions. Our results propose that cell membrane biology can be structured into three core ideas, comprising compartmentalisation, physical and chemical properties, and multicellular coordination interrelated by evolution as a key aspect. Our results show that scientists conceive these ideas metaphorically. Embodied part-whole relations seem, for example, to lay the grounds for their understanding of biological function. The outcomes of the study may inform future cell membrane teaching.
GND Keywords: Biologieunterricht; Plasmamembran; Wissensvermittlung
Keywords: science education; cell membranes; conceptual metaphor; model of educational reconstruction; scientific clarification; molecular life sciences
RVK Classification: DP 4620   
Type: Article
Release Date: 27. May 2022