Student Misconceptions

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CHAPTER 11
CELL COMMUNICATION
I.
Student misconceptions
The topic of cell signaling is difficult for students to master. Students must learn the
details of the complex interactions of several large sets of unfamiliar molecules, and
also grasp the important general principles that cell-signaling pathways illustrate.
Faced with this challenge, many students focus on memorizing details and miss the
broad picture.
II.
Pre-test to identify student misconceptions prior to addressing the material
covered in Chapter 11
Signal transduction pathways:
a.
Involve the addition of phosphate groups to a series of protein kinases
b.
Involve the removal of phosphate groups from protein kinases by protein
phosphatases
c.
Amplify the effect of a signal molecule
d.
Allow different types of cells to respond differently to the same signal
molecule
e.
All of the above
III.
IV.
How can instructors address and correct the misconceptions that students
have about cell communication?
1.
To help students gain an understanding of cell communication, remind them
of the significance of the steps in cell signaling: the amplification of the
signal, the recycling of relay molecules between activated and inactivated
forms to regulate the cellular response, and the multiple roles of the same
simple players to provide specificity.
2.
When teaching cell communication, use interesting examples to capture
student interest and help to clarify difficult concepts. Students’ curiosity will
be piqued when the instructor describes how the principles of cell signaling
explain how a familiar drug works or how the symptoms of a deadly disease
arise.
Post-test to identify whether students have corrected their misconceptions
1.
Define the term second messenger. Describe the role of second messengers in
signaling pathways.
2.
Distinguish between the roles of protein kinases and protein phosphatases in
signal transduction pathways.
Student Misconceptions for Campbell/Reece Biology, 8th Edition, © Pearson Education, Inc.
11-1
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