Models of immunity among college students
their evolution as a result of instruction
The study of the evolution of the conceptual models of students is a topic of current importance in the didactics of science. Initial studies in the field of modeling were oriented toward describing the models of students and teachers and professors in different fields of knowledge with important results in didactics. Today, and particularly in this investigation, we assume the models as powerful representations to represent and build knowledge in the classroom. First we identified the college students’ initial conceptual models of the concept of immunity. Then we applied a didactic unit aimed at the evolution of the initial models to immunology models determined by the curricular program in which the investigation was conducted. This qualitative research was conducted with twenty second-semester students of a university program in health sciences. Content analysis of the texts written by the students was carried out during an academic semester. The initial and final models of the students were characterized, as well as the change in the uses of languages and graphic representations, which are indicators of the understanding of molecular defense mechanisms that are part of innate and acquired immunity. It was observed that the models used by students before and after the educational intervention follow explanatory principles of the scientific models used in immunology.
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