Survey of the Difficulties and Interests of Students and Teachers of Elementary and High Schools Related to Microbiology

A. M. Palmieri, L. M. Beltramini, N. R. S. Bossolan


The microorganisms  are present in several topics of the science curriculum  as cytology, ecology, public health,  biochemical cycles, genetics and biotechnology that sometimes cause difficulties to students and teachers  in classroom.  The  use of interactive educational resources in sciences centers  can represent a helpful  tool  in the  approach  of this  subject  and  also provide  a better understanding of it.   The present project  made a survey of the  major  doubts  and  interests of students and  teachers  related  to Microbiology.  This  survey had  the  objective of supplying  subsidies  for the  elaboration of interactive activities  that will be part of a thematic space  on Microbiology  to  be implanted by  the  Scientific Dissemination Coordination  of the  CBME,  in  order  to  complement  its  educational activities.    In the total,  114 students of elementary school (ES),  85 students of high school (HS) and 18 teachers  of Sciences and Biology of Sao Carlos, SP, had participated. The survey was made through  the application of three  types of questionnaires.  The  students questionnaires were composed by open and  multiple- choice questions  related  to the  theirs  science curricula;  the teachers  questionnaire was composed  by open and  multiple-choice  questions,  related  to the  approach  in the  teaching  of this  subject.  Of the students of ES, only 41,8% were able to differentiate between  animal  and plant cell; when identifying diseases and its pathogens, 42,7% associated pneumonia  erroneously to its causative  agent; in the virus characterization, 50% mentioned  it as an unicellular being.  Of the students of HS, 40% do not associate the bacteria  to food production and 26% do not associate  fungus to decomposition;  25 to 30% of the students misled when associating  protozoa  with  its major  diseases.  The  themes  pointed  as being of great  interest were: microorganisms  as causative  agents  of local diseases, biotechnological  application of microorganisms,  and its three-dimensional structures.  According to the suggestions,  activities  will be planned  with  an interactive approach  using  tools  as three-dimensional models,  microscope  and illustrative panels.


Microbiology, Scientific Dissemination Coordination.

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