Misconceptions of genetics concepts among pre-service teachers
Students’ misconceptions are often deeply rooted and instruction-resistant obstacles to the acquizition of scientific concepts and remain even after instruction. A large number of prior studies reported that primary and secondary school students have many conceptional problems concerning cell biology and genetics. The study was set out to determine misconceptions held by pre-service teachers about genetics of Science and Technology Education Department at the Faculty of Education in Lagos State University. A sample of 120 pre-service biology teachers in their second and third year was purposively selected. Multiple-choice Genetic Concept Test (MGCT) and Pre-service Teachers’ Genetics Misconceptions Checklist (PTMC) were administered to obtain information about pre-service teachers’ understanding level of genetics. Results revealed that 75.1% on the average of pre-service teachers had misconceptions about genetics concepts. This percentage of pre-service teachers who have misconceptions could have been due to wrong understanding of the teachers to the concepts of genetics. Findings further showed that about 83.4% on the average of pre-service teachers attributed the misconceptions about genetics to challenges in genetics textbooks, instructional methods in teaching genetics, lecturers' English language skills, pre-service teachers' cultural beliefs and practices, nature of laboratories and abstractness of genetics. Science education and science teachers should take priority for the supplying of scientific literacy which is required for making informed decision about genetic related controversial issues imposed by daily life.
KEYWORDS: Genetics, Misconceptions, Pre-Service Teachers, Mendelian Inheritance, concepts