Enhancing Student Conceptualization of Enzyme Activity Using a Cellulose Digesting Enzyme: An Inquiry-Based Approach

By Watcharee Ketpichainarong, Pintip Ruenwongsa and Bhinyo Panijpan.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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.

Keywords: Cellulase, Enzyme, Inquiry-based Approach

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp.17-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.294MB).

Dr. Watcharee Ketpichainarong

Ph.D Candidate, Institute for Innovation and Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

I’m a Ph.D. candidate. I work with my professors to develop hand-on experiment as well as to organize workshop as a trainer for both students and teachers in Thailand. I’m familiar with the use of inquiry approach in classroom. My main interest is to explore how to incorporate various effective teaching strategies into science contents.

Pintip Ruenwongsa

The deputy director of IL, Institute for Innovation and Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Pintip Ruenwongsa is the deputy director of IL and Chair of the Doctor of Philosophy Programme in Science and Technology Education of the Institute for Innovation and Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University, Rama VI Rd. Bangkok 10400, Thailand.

Bhinyo Panijpan

Director, Institute for Innovation and Development of Learning Process, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Bhinyo Panijpan is the Director at the Institute for Innovation and Development of Learning Process (IL), Mahidol University.

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