Pupils’ Drawings Of What Is Inside Themselves: A Case Study In Zimbabwe
Reiss, Michael J.
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This preliminary study looks at the understandings, as revealed by their drawings, of some seven-year-olds and 15-year-olds in Zimbabwe of their internal anatomy. A total of 23 seven year-olds and 21 fifteen year-olds participated in the study. These pupils were given a blank piece of A4-sized (296 x 210 mm) drawing paper and asked to draw what they thought was inside themselves. The drawings were analysed on a seven point scale related to biological knowledge of human organs and organ systems. The results show that the older pupils had a greater knowledge of their internal anatomy but that there was no relationship between gender and biological knowledge. Some organ systems - the gaseous exchange system, the digestive system, the circulatory system, the skeletal system, the urinogenital system and the nervous system, were statistically more likely to have organs drawn from them than were others such as the endocrine system and the muscular system. Recommendations are made for biology teaching which would help improve understanding in this area. In particular, when introducing human anatomy to pupils, teachers could begin with individual organs and then help pupils appreciate that these organs exist as functional units within organ systems. This could be done by the use of three-dimensional models or by assembling two-dimensional organ systems from cut organ system diagrams.