Biology-specific vocabulary: students’ understanding and lecturers’ expectations of student understanding

Jones, Harriet L., Green, Jon R., Prendergast, John and Scott, Jon (2019) Biology-specific vocabulary: students’ understanding and lecturers’ expectations of student understanding. Journal of Biological Education, 53 (4). pp. 422-430. ISSN 0021-9266

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The current A-level biology curriculum includes a broad coverage of all the biosciences which demands knowledge of a wide range of biological vocabulary. Students (n = 184) from two UK universities were presented with a list of vocabulary, associated with a ‘Revise Biology’ text which highlighted key terms that students should know. Lecturers (n = 26) were asked which of these terms they expected students to know, or be aware of. Findings revealed that students’ claimed knowledge of vocabulary exceeded lecturer expectations. In addition, there were a number of terms which students did not understand and lecturers did not expect them to know, which could be removed from A-level biology courses. This is discussed in relation to whether A-level curricula need to be so content heavy and whether lecturers would benefit from knowing more about their students’ knowledge of discipline-specific terms.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: biology,vocabulary,curriculum,expectations
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Biosciences Teaching and Education Research
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2019 08:30
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2023 00:26
DOI: 10.1080/00219266.2018.1490800


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