Children's Understanding of Inheritance

Year: 1986

Author: Martin, Marjory, Kinnear, Judith

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

A study to investigate children's understanding of inheritance was carried out with a sample of primary children at grade 6 level from three different schools.

Each child completed a pencil and paper task consisting of questions relating to aspects of inheritance. In addition, pairs of children were asked to use a computer simulation to identify any 'rules' that govern the inheritance of coat colour, pattern and tail length in a familiar domestic animal. Children were asked to indicate whether the 'rules' they identified for 'computer animals' also applied to 'real animals' and people.

This paper reports on the findings of the investigation.