Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 9, Issue 1, Article 8 (June, 2008)
Osman CARDAK and Musa Dikmenli
The knowledge of DNA and DNA technologies among pre-service science teachers

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This qualitative research study was carried out using a scanning model. In order to determine the knowledge of the pre-service science teachers in this study, questions related to DNA and roles, structure of DNA, Genetically Modified Organisms, in addition to some questions related to DNA technologies developed by Mahajan and Chattopadhyay (with permission) were used. This survey was carried out during the spring semester of the 2006-2007 academic year with the participation of the elementary school pre-service science teachers of the Faculty of Education at Selcuk University. The students were informed that this was not an examination, and enough time was given to students to complete the questionnaire. Percent statements are used for the analysis of the data.

Pre-service teachers had learned DNA and DNA technology informations in their biology lessons during their education. The answers pre-service teachers gave to the questions were analyzed separately. The questions used in the survey were open ended.

Questions about DNA and DNA technology:

1)      Who discovered the structure of DNA and in which year?

2)      What is the structure of B-DNA ? Briefly write in your answers in  the choices given below:

a)      Number of strands:

b)      Chemical composition:

c)      Types of bonds involved in the DNA structure:

d)      Measurements (width, number of base pairs per turn, length of DNA per turn, etc.):

e)      Complementary strands:

f)        Any other important information regarding the DNA structure:

3)      The term gene expression refers to what? Write in short sentences.

4)      Make a flow chart to explain the concept of ‘Central Dogma’ (e.g., A è B è CèDè…). 

5)      What is cloning? Write as bullet points.

6)      What is gene cloning? Write as bullet points.

7)      What is animal cloning? Write as bullet points.

8)      “DNA fingerprinting has become a useful tool to solve many criminal cases/settling disputes in blood relations.” What is DNA fingerprinting? Write as bullet points.

9)      Who should have access to the genetic profile of an individual? Tick one or more options given below and give reasons for your choice.

(a) No one (b) Doctor and only the person concerned (c) Person and immediate family

(d) Person and all family members (e) Police and other security agencies

(f) Employer (g) School/college authorities (h) Any other individuals (i) The scientist

Reasons for your choice:

10)  Name a few GMOs or GM drugs.

11)  If GM plants are to be cultivated in Turkey on a large scale:

i) Should these plants (and other GMOs) be free to be introduced in the open fields and markets so that the farmers and the industry make good profits? Yes/No

ii) Or, should there be some checks? Yes/No.

iii) Have you any ideas about these checks/regulations? Yes/No

iv) If yes, give a few details about these regulations. Write as bullet points.

v) Name one GM plant introduced in Turkey?


144 elementary school pre-service science teachers studying at the Faculty of Education in Selcuk University during the 2006-2007 academic year who were taught  biology lessons in high school formed the sample of this study. The ages of the pre-service teachers who participated in this study were between 19 and 23. Pre-service teachers were from the different regions in Turkey. These students learned biotechnology and genetic engineering information during biology lessons while attending high school.

Copyright (C) 2008 HKIEd APFSLT. Volume 9, Issue 1, Article 8 (June, 2008). All Rights Reserved.