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Several teaching schemes designed to overcome inherent problems associated with teaching photosynthesis have been developed, mainly by people performing research into the misconceptions.  Most of the schemes used theories of constructivism as a basis for their design and identified that many pupils held alternative frameworks for the established scientific phenomena associated with photosynthesis. Simpson & Arnold (1986) (in Eisen & Stavy 1992) recommend that teachers should review these concepts, such as gases and food and energy before teaching photosynthesis. CLISP (1987) held the premise that the children’s alternative frameworks should be the starting point of any scheme.   

Barker and Carr’s (1989b) scheme concentrated on photosynthesis as a carbohydrate making process.  Bishop, Roth and Anderson (1986) (in Eisen & Stavy 1992) approached it differently in that they designed a teaching scheme exploiting the differences between photosynthesis and respiration to deepen pupils understanding of each of the processes.    

There are many new schemes being developed concerned with deepening students understanding of the underlying scientific principles behind the curriculum (More info) and more will probably be produced now that misconceptions has become integrated into the KS3 Strategy. 

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Last modified: 08/12/04