Misconceptions of Primary and High School Students Related to the Biological Concept of Human Reproduction, Cell Life Cycle and Molecular Basis of Heredity

  • Ţaklin LUKŠA High School Josipa Slavenskog Ţakovec, CROATİA
  • Ines RADANOVIŠ Faculty of Science, Division of Biology, Zagreb University, CROATİA
  • Diana GARAŠIŠ Agency for education, Zagreb, CROATİA
  • Mirela SERTIŠ PERIŠ Faculty of Science, Division of Biology, Zagreb University, CROATİA
Keywords: human reproduction, meiosis, menstrual cycle, misconceptions, ovulation


The aim of this research was to determine the misconceptions of students related to the concept of human reproduction. The research was conducted in the period from 2008 to 2012 in 41 primary and 36 high schools in Croatia, with a total sample of 1931 students. The analysis of the students' answers shows the scope and permanency of misconceptions and problems in the process of understanding the concepts related to human reproduction. The misconceptions associated with mitosis and meiosis, as well as human reproduction itself are particularly emphasised. The results show that students do not understand the purpose of mitosis and meiosis, what sex cells are and what their purpose is. A major problem for all students of both genders is the concept of ovulation and the menstrual cycle in general. The results indicate that the approach to teaching certain concepts should be changed, and that teaching content should be more appropriately distributed and better adapted to the students’ developmental levels and interests. Future research should be focused on a more detailed analysis of the identified misconceptions in all grades.