Publication 6535

Meyer A., Balster S., Birkhölzer C. & Wilde M. (2011) Der Einfluss von lebenden Tieren als Unterrichtsmittel auf die Lernerwahrnehmung der konstruktivistischen Orientierung ihres Biologieunterrichts [The impact of living animals as a means of teaching on the learner`s perception of the constructivist orienta. Zeitschrift für Didaktik der Naturwissenschaften 17: 339–355. Fulltext at
Various studies show a positive impact of living animals on motivation as well as knowledge acquisition in biology lessons (e.g. Wilde & Bätz, 2009). The learning success was thereby accredited to a possibly more constructivist learning environment. In this study we examine whether the use of living harvest mice really facilitates a more constructivist learning environment (Reinmann & Mandl, 2006). It is to be expected that the use of living animals particularly improves situational, active and emotional learning. The sample of this study consists of 121 6th graders of two secondary schools (Gymnasium) in North Rhine Westphalia. The experimental group was taught with living harvest mice whereas the control group received short movies on laptops. In addition to a questionnaire, which was used to measure constructivist teaching characteristics (PgK, Urhahne, Marsch, Wilde & Krüger, 2011), a pre-, post- and follow-up test was carried out to control the knowledge gain. Surprisingly, not only the subscales “situational”, “active” and “emotional” turn out in favour of the experimental group, but all subscales of the PgK. Regarding knowledge acquisition, the hypothesis is confirmed by the results of the follow-up test.


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