Defining the Relationship between the Perceptions and the Misconceptions about Photosynthesis Topic of the Preservice Science Teachers

Mustafa Urey

APA 6th edition
Urey*, M. (2018). Defining the Relationship between the Perceptions and the Misconceptions about Photosynthesis Topic of the Preservice Science Teachers. European Journal of Educational Research, 7(4), 813-826. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.7.4.813

Urey* M. 2018 'Defining the Relationship between the Perceptions and the Misconceptions about Photosynthesis Topic of the Preservice Science Teachers', European Journal of Educational Research , vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 813-826. Available from:

Chicago 16th edition
Urey*, Mustafa . "Defining the Relationship between the Perceptions and the Misconceptions about Photosynthesis Topic of the Preservice Science Teachers". (2018)European Journal of Educational Research 7, no. 4(2018): 813-826. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.7.4.813


The aim of the research is to determine the perceptions of the preservice science teachers about the photosynthesis and to reveal the relation between these perceptions and the misconceptions of the existing concepts. In the research, field scanning method was used as a descriptive research method. The sample of the research is composed of 355 preservice science teachers trained in different universities. For the selection of the sample, purposeful sample selection was used and attention was paid to the fact that the preservice science teachers had taken the General Biology-I and General Biology-II courses at the undergraduate level in the determination of the class level to be included in the study. The "Photosynthesis Concept Achievement Test" (PCAT) developed by the researcher and composed of 4 questions was used as a data collection tool. Quantitative data obtained from the study were analyzed using SPSS.20 package program while content analysis was performed in the analysis of qualitative data. As a result of the research, it was determined that the preservice science teachers' perceptions of photosynthesis were in the direction of chemical and biological approaches and that the teacher candidates preferred the chemical approach rather than the biological approach. However, preservice science teachers who prefer the chemical approach have reached the conclusion that they are in much more misconception than the biologically approaching teacher candidates.

Keywords: Perception, photosynthesis, misconception, preservice science teachers.


Ahopelto, I., Mikkilä-Erdmann, M., Anto, E., & Penttinen, M. (2011).Future elementary school teachers’ conceptual change concerning photosynthesis. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 55(5), 503–515.

Akcay, S. (2017).Prospective elementary science teachers’ understanding of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the context of multiple biological levels as nested systems. Journal of Biological Education, 51(1), 52-65.

Akdeniz, A.R., Yildiz, I., & Yigit, N. (2001). Ilkogretim 6. sinif ogrencilerinin isik unitesindeki kavram yanilgilari [Misconceptions of primary school 6th grade students in light unit]. Cukurova University Faculty of Education Journal, 2(20), 72-78.

Akpinar, E. (2007). The effect of dual situated learning model on students’ understanding of photosynthesis and respiration concepts. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 6(3), 16- 26.

Anderson, C. W., Sheldon, T. S., & Dubay, J. (1990).The effects of instruction on college nonmajors’ conceptions of respiration and photosynthesis .Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 27(8), 761-776.

Atici, O., &Atici, T. (2012). Investigating in biology syllabus topics at photosynthesis experiments of the effect student achievement and their diversification.The Journal of Turkish Educational Sciences, 10(1), 143-166.

Atilboz, N. G. (2004). 9th grade students’ understanding levels and misconceptions about mitosis and meiosis. Gazi University, Journal of Educational Faculty, 24(3), 147-157.

Bacanak, A., Kucuk, M., & Cepni, S. (2004). Primary school students of misconceptions about photosynthesis and respiration subjects: A case for Trabzon. Ondokuz Mayis University Journal of Education, 17, 67-80.

Barker, M., & Carr, M. (1989). Teaching and learning about photosynthesis Part 1: An assessment in terms of students’ prior knowledge. International Journal of Science Education, 11(1), 49- 56

Bilen, K., & Aydogdu, M. (2010). Using the predict-observe-explain (poe) strategy to teach of concetps photosynthesis and respiration in plants. Mustafa Kemal University Journal of Social Sciences Institute, 7(14), 179-194.

Brown, M. H., & Schwartz, R. S. (2009).Connecting photosynthesis and cellular respiration: Preservice teacher’s conceptions. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(7), 791–812.

Buyukozturk, S. (2011). Sosyal bilimler icin very analiz el kitabi [Data Analysis for Social Sciences]. Ankara: Pegem Academic Publication.

Canal, P. (1999). Photosynthesis and inverse respiration in plants: An inevitable misconception. International Journal of Science Education, 4, 363-371.

Cakiroglu, J., & Boone, W. J. (2002). Preservice elementary teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and their conceptions of photosynthesis and inheritance, Journal of Elementary Science Education, 14(1), 1-14.

Cordero, E. C. (2001). Misconceptions in Australian students’ understanding of ozone depletion. Melbourne Studies in Education, 41, 85–97.

Cordova, J. R., Sinatra, G. M., Jones, S. H., Taasoobshirazi, G., &Lombardi, D. (2014). Confidence in prior knowledge, self efficacy, interest and prior knowledge: Influences on conceptual change. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 39(2), 164–174.

Crane, L., & Winterbottom, M. (2008). Plants and photosynthesis: Peer assessment to help students learn. Journal of Biological Education, 42(4), 150–156.

Ceken, R. (2014). Insistence on teaching about photosynthesis of plants by their green colour. Educational Research and Reviews,9(2), 67-74.

Cepni, S. (2012). Arastirma ve proje calismalarina giris [Introduction to research and project works]. Trabzon: Celepler Publication.

Cokadar, H. (2012). Photosynthesis and respiration processes: Prospective teachers’ conception levels. Education and Science, 37(164), 82-94.

Domingos-Grilo, P., Reis-Grilo, C., Ruiz, C.,,&Mellado, V. (2012). An action research programme with secondary education teachers on teaching and learning photosynthesis. Journal of Biological Education, 46(2), 72-80.

Duit, R., & Treagust, D. F. (2003). Conceptual change: A powerful framework for improving science teaching and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 25, 671–688.

Ebenezer, J.V., & Fraser, M.D. (2001). First year chemical engineering students’ conception of energy in solution processes: Phenomenographic categories for common knowledge construction. Science Education, 85, 509-535.

Efe, H. A., Oral, B., Efe, R., & Sunkur, M. O. (2011). The effects of teaching photosynthesis unit with computer simulation supported co-operative learning on retention and student attitude to biology. Necatibey Faculty of Education Electronic Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 5(1), 313-329.

Eisen, Y., & Stavy R. (1988).Students’ understanding of photosynthesis.The American Biology Teacher,50(4), 209-212.

Ekici, F., Ekici, E., &Aydin, F. (2007). Utility of concept cartoons in diagnosing and overcoming misconceptions related to photosynthesis. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 2(4), 111 – 124.

Goff, E.E., Reindl, K. M., Johnson, C., McClean, P., Offerdahl, E.G., Schroeder, N.L., & White, A.R. (2017). Variation in external representations as part of the classroom lecture: An investigation of virtual cell animations in introductory photosynthes is instruction. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 45(3), 226-234.

Griffard, P. B. (2001). The two-tier instrument on photosynthesis: What does it diagnose?. International Journal of Science Education, 10, 1039-1052.

Gunes, T., Dilek, N. S., Hoplan, M., & Gunes, O. (2012). Ilkogretim 8. Sinif ogrencilerinde fotosentez ve solunum konusunda olusan kavram yanilgilari [Misconceptions of the primary 8th grade students about photosynthesis and respiration]. Journal of Educational and Instructional Studies in the World, 2 (1), 42-47.

Haslam, F., &Treagust, D. F. (1987).Diagnosing secondary students’ misconceptions of photosynthesis and respiration in plant using a two-tier multiple-choice instrument. Journal of Biological Education,21(3), 203-211.

Keles, E., &Kefeli, P. (2010). Determination of student misconceptions in “photosynthesis and respiration” unit and correcting them with the help of cai material. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 3111-3118.

Kose, S., & Usak, M. (2006). Determination of prospective science teachers’ misconceptions: Photosynthesis and respiration in plants. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 1(1), 25 – 52.

Kose, S., Ayas, A., Costu, B., & Karamustafaoglu, S. (2004). Evaluating photosynthes is topic in biology textbooks. TheJournal of Turkish Educational Sciences, 2(2), 181-189.

Krall, R. M., Lott, K. H., & Wymer, C. L. (2009).Inservice elementary and middle school teachers’ conceptions of photosynthesis and respiration. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 20, 41-55.

Larkin, D. (2012). Misconceptions about ‘‘misconceptions’’: Preservice secondary science teachers’ views on the value and role of student ideas. Science Education, 96, 927–959.

Lewis, J., & Kattman, U. (2004). Traits, genes, particles and information: re-visiting students understandings of genetics. International Journal of Science Education, 26, 195-206.

Lloyd, C. V. (1990). The elaboration of concepts in three biology textbooks: Facilitating student learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 27(10), 1019-1032.

Marmaroti, P., & Galanopoulou, D. (2006).Pupils’ understanding of photosynthesis: A questionnaire for the simultaneous assessment of all aspects. International Journal of Science Education, 28(4), 383–403.

Metioui, A., Matoussi, F., & Trudel, L. (2015). The teaching of photosynthesis in secondary school: A history of science approach. Journal of Biological Education, 50(3), 275-289.

Milles, M. B., & Huberman, A.M. (2002). The qualitative researcher’s companion. California: Sage Publications.

Mintzes, J. J., & Wandersee, J. H. (2005). Research in science teaching and learning: A human constructivist view. In J. J. Mintzes, J. H. Wandersee& J. D. Novak (Eds.), Teaching science for understanding: A human constructivist view (pp. 59–92). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Morowitz, H., & Smith, E. (2007).Energy flow and the organization of life, Complexity, 13(1), 51–59.

Odom, A. L.,&Barrow, H. L. (1995). Development and application of a two-tier diagnostic test measuring collage biology students’ understanding of diffusion and osmosis after a course of instruction. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(1), 45-61.

Ozay, E., & Oztas, H. (2003). Secondary students’ interpretations of photosynthesis and plant nutrition. Journal of Biological Education, 37, 68-70.

Saka, A. (2016). Fotosentez denkleminin tarih odakli yaklasimla ogretimi [History-oriented teaching of photosynthesis reaction], VI.International Congress on Research in Education, p. 102, 13-15 October, Rize-Turkey.

SkribeDimec, D., & Strgar, J. (2017).Scientific conceptions of photosynthesis among primary school pupils and student teachers of biology. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 7(1), 49-68.

Sodervik, I.,Mikkilä-Erdmann, M., & Vilppu, H. (2014). Promoting the understanding of photosynthes is among elementary school student teachers through text design. Journal of Science Teaching Education. 25(5), 581-600.

Sodervik, I., Virtanen, V., & Mikkilä-Erdmann, M. (2015). Challenges under standing photosynthesis in a university introductory biosciences class. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 13, 733-750.

Svandova, K. (2014). Secondary school students’ misconceptions about photosynthesis and plant respiration: Preliminary results. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics. Science & Technology Education, 10(1), 59-67.

Sasmaz Oren, F., Karatekin, P., Erdem, S., &Ormanci, U. (2012). Determining of teacher candidates’ level of knowledge on the issue of plantrespiration-photosynthesisthroughconceptcartoonsanditsanalysisdepending on different variables. Journal of Kirsehir Educational Faculty,13(3), 155-174.

Tas, E., Cepni, S., & Kaya, E. (2012). The effects of web-supported and classical concept maps on students’ cognitive development and misconception change: A case study on photosynthesis. Energy Education Science and Technology Part B: Social and Educational Studies, 4(1), 241-252.

Tekkaya, C., & Balci, S. (2003). Determination of students’ misconceptions concerning photosynthesis and respiration in plants. Hacettepe University Journal of Education, 24, 101-107.

Toman, U., Cimer-Odabasi, S., & Cimer, A. (2016). Fotosentez ve bitkilerde solunum kavramlarinin farkliogrenim seviyelerinde ogrenilme durumlarinin arastirilmasi [An investigation into the conceptions of photosynthesis and respiration in plants at different educational levels] .The Black Sea Journal of Social Sciences, 2(7), 15-30.

Usak, M., Ozden, M., & Eilks, I. (2011).A case study of beginning science teachers’ subject matter (SMK) and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of teaching chemical reaction in Turkey. European Journal of Teacher Education, 34(4), 407-429.

Urey, M., & Calik, M. (2008). Combining different conceptual change methods within 5E model: A sample teaching design of ‘cell’ concept and its organelles. Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 9(2), 1-15.

Urey, M., Sahin, N. F., Kilinc, A., & Dogan, M. (2016).Fen bilgisi ogretmen adaylarinin fotosentez konusuna yonelik kavram yanilgilarinin belirlenmesi [Determining of preservice science teachers’ misconceptions about photosynthesis], VI. International Congress on Research in Education, p. 109, 13-15 October, Rize-Turkey.

Waheed, T., & Lucas, A. M. (1992). Understanding interrelated topics: Photosynthesis at age 14+. Journal of Biological Education, 26, 193–199.

Yenilmez, A., & Tekkaya, C. (2006) Enhancing student’s understanding of photosynthesis and respiration in plant through conceptual change approach. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 15(1), 81-87.

Yip, D. Y. (1998). Identification of misconceptions in novice biology teachers and remedial strategies for improving biology learning. International Journal of Science Education, 20(4), 461-477.