Enhancing Student Conceptualization of Enzyme Activity Using ...

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  • Title: Enhancing Student Conceptualization of Enzyme Activity Using a Cellulose Digesting Enzyme: An Inquiry-Based Approach
  • Author(s): Watcharee Ketpichainarong, Pintip Ruenwongsa, Bhinyo Panijpan
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review
  • Keywords: Cellulase, Enzyme, Inquiry-based Approach
  • Volume: 16
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2009
  • ISSN: 1447-9494 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1447-9540 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1447-9494/CGP/v16i02/46126
  • Citation: Ketpichainarong, Watcharee, Pintip Ruenwongsa, and Bhinyo Panijpan. 2009. "Enhancing Student Conceptualization of Enzyme Activity Using a Cellulose Digesting Enzyme: An Inquiry-Based Approach." The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review 16 (2): 17-32. doi:10.18848/1447-9494/CGP/v16i02/46126.
  • Extent: 16 pages

Abstract

Enzymes are essential to life because they play such a crucial role in the biochemical pathway of all living organisms. Teaching and learning of enzymes often proves difficult because of the complexities of the topics. Laboratory work is considered as an important part of teaching and learning science. However, in most laboratories, students just follow the procedure in the laboratory manual or cookbook without thinking, resulting in inability to meaningfully summarize the important aspects of an experiment they have just performed. In this study, we developed an inquiry-based enzyme laboratory for secondary students. The interaction between enzyme cellulase and a simple and economical cellulose substrate was used as an enzyme catalyzed reaction model. The hands-on activities were developed based on the concept of constructivism. In these activities, students were engaged by observing a given phenomenon. Students learned techniques to assay for enzyme activity, then explained how the enzyme worked. Next, the students planned their own experiment to investigate factors affecting enzyme activities. Finally, they shared results and discussed what they have learned with the class. Results from this study revealed that this unit helps students to conceptualize the knowledge on enzyme and its reaction. This research study may provide a useful guideline for further development of inquiry-based instructional materials.