Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 355–373 | Cite as

Identification of Students’ Content Mastery and Cognitive and Affective Percepts of a Bioinformatics Miniunit: A Case Study With Recommendations for Teacher Education

  • Stephen H. Wefer
  • O. Roger Anderson


Bioinformatics, merging biological data with computer science, is increasingly incorporated into school curricula at all levels. This case study of 10 secondary school students highlights student individual differences (especially the way they processed information and integrated procedural and analytical thought) and summarizes a variety of critical situations that teachers may encounter when teaching bioinformatics. Students who integrated factual information with procedural and analytical skills were closest to content mastery; while students who had fundamental deficiencies in factual recall or were less adept in integrating higher order knowledge with specific facts and procedural skills had difficulty mobilizing critical analytical skills needed to master the bioinformatics tasks. Broader implications are presented for teacher education, curriculum design, and research.


Bioinformatics Genetics Case study Constructivism 



We wish to acknowledge Dr. Keith Sheppard, Dr. Angela Calabrese-Barton, Dr. Robert McClintock, and Dr. Harmen Bussemaker for their helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sachem East High SchoolFarmingvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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