A New Approach for Teaching Genetics

Le Dinh Luong*

Centre for DNA Analysis and Genetic Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam

Corresponding Author:
Le Dinh Luong
Centre for DNA Analysis and Genetic Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam
[email protected]

Receipt date: June 08, 2020; Revision date: July 27, 2020; Acceptance date: August 03, 2020

Citation: Luong LD (2020) A New Approach for Teaching Genetics. Genet Mol Biol Res Vol No: 4 Iss No: 2:26

Copyright: © 2020 Luong LD. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributions License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Visit for more related articles at Genetics and Molecular Biology Research


At present Genetics is one of the sciences, which develops with extra - high speed and has become an exact science as physics and mathematics. Meanwhile, in Vietnam as in many other countries this subject is taught in classical way following historical sequence of concepts and don’t distinguish reason - consequence relationship of concepts. This situation creates mismatches between the current tremendous content of genetics in the curriculum and teaching methodology. That’s why we have decided to rewrite textbooks on the subject.

The subject was rearranged, basing on two principles:

• Replace the historical sequence which we have used up-to-now, with logical sequence;
• Place causing concepts before consequence concepts.

Thanks to the application of a new approach, the teaching volume as well as textbook content has been reduced substantially. The activity of pupils has changed very positively as they have to study consequence concepts (about 80%) by themselves relying on the causing concepts (20% left) without teacher ’ s lessons. Furthermore, it is not necessary to re-educate teachers because the subject content was only rearranged, not modified nor added. This new methodology has been applied to a simplified textbook for a project of European Union (EU) and recently fully applied to three books published in Vietnamese. The new approach has been presented at six national workshops across Vietnam and a trail teaching was done in three secondary schools in Hanoi.


Genetics; Gene linkage

Genetics at Present

Over half a century, science has developed with extra-high speed. Nowadays, it takes only two days to accumulate scientific data that used to take for all the past by scientists. Genetics is not exclusion. These data of genetics are big enough to express its systematic and logistics and make genetics become an exact science as physics and mathematics. However, at present in many countries including Vietnam genetics is taught the same way as half a century ago. It’s simply impossible to teach present genetics with tremendous amount of genetic knowledge with above-mentioned classical way. So, it ’ s necessary to find out some way to educate genetics much more easily and simply. It’s just new approach for teaching genetics we are describing at the moment [1-5].

Two Principles

Experimental site

We rearranged the subject, basing on two principles:

• Replace the historical sequence which has been used up-tonow, with logical sequence

• Locate causing concepts before consequence concepts

Table 1 show, historical sequence includes 1865, 1904, 1928, 1944, and 1953 - the years, when relevant concepts were discovered. That means historical sequence is the sequence of time when the relevant discoveries were done. The second part of table 1 (on the right) shows logical sequence of concepts, which means that the concept located above should be taught first, meanwhile the concept located below should be taught later. This is logical sequence. One can note that logical sequence is quite different from historical one. As genetics is logical today it should be presented with logical sequence of its concepts. Certainty, this kind of genetics would be much easier and simpler to understand.

No Historical sequence Logical sequence
1 Mendelian  laws (1865) Transformation (1928)
2 Linkage inheritance (1904) Hereditary role of DNA (1944)
3 Transformation (1928) The double helix of DNA (1953)
4 Hereditary role of DNA (1944) Mendelian  laws (1865)
5 The double helix of DNA (1953) Linkage inheritance (1904)

Table 1: Historical sequence and Logical sequence.

Table 2 shows causing concepts and consequence concepts. Mitosis and meiosis are the only two causing concepts. The rest nine items are consequence concepts. They all originate from mitosis and meiosis. For example, meiosis is a reason, which is leading to several consequence concepts as Mendelian laws, combinative variations, polyploidy. That is why mitosis and meiosis only must be explained carefully, focusing on natural movement rules of chromosomes, which lead to nature of all consequence concepts. In fact, consequence concepts can be studied by pupils themselves relying on the knowledge of mitosis and meiosis. So, there are 2 causing concepts only, and 9 consequence concepts. If we focus on 2 items and leave the 9 left ones for pupils to study themselves, it would reduce the teaching volume almost 5 times! That means at present chromosomal genetics can be taught almost 5 times less.

No The concepts Types of concepts
1 Mitosis Causing concepts
2 Meiosis Causing concepts
3 Mendelian  laws Consequence concepts
4 Movement of genes Consequence concepts
5 Cellular basis of inheritance Consequence concepts
6 Gene linkage and sex linkage Consequence concepts
7 Polyploidy Consequence concepts
8 Chromosomal aberrations Consequence concepts
9 Genetic mapping Consequence concepts
10 Genetic equilibrium of population Consequence concepts
11 Non-chromosomal inheritance Consequence concepts

Table 2: Causing concepts and consequence concepts.

Following the new approach of genetics education, the pupil’s inside classroom activities would be increased because they have to infer themselves all consequence concepts (about 80% teaching program) from causing ones. The new approach doesn’t require teachers to learn additional knowledge as the subject is rearranged only, not modified nor added.

Presentation &Trail Teaching of the New Approach

The new approach of genetics education was partly and successfully applied to a simplified textbook for a project of European Union (EU), which was published online and used by philosophers and law makers to issue international regulations on mordent biotechnology as protocols on biosafety of GMO - genetically modified organisms, moral aspects of IVF - In vitro fertilization. The link to the book is as follows: https://fr.scribd.com/document/109724971/Background-of-Genetics

And the new approach was fully applied to three books published in Vietnamese in 2018 and 2019 [6,7,8].

Author of the article has presented the new approach for genetics education at six national workshops:

• Hanoi University of natural sciences, 2017
• Hanoi National University of Education, 2018
• Quy Nhon University, 2018 in Phu Yen
• Hong Bang Intern University, HCMCty, 2018
• Workshop organized by Vietnam Nat. Assembly, 2017
• Vietnam Institute of Education, 2020

The author has made a trail teaching in three secondary schools in 2018 in Hanoi:

• Nguyen Hue Specialized School
• Nguyen Cong Chat School
• Ngoc Hoi School


• The replacement of historical sequence of genetic concepts by logical sequence has made the subject much easier understandable.

• The division of genetic knowledge into two types of concepts - causing and consequence ones and their rearrangement afterwards in sequence causing concepts first, consequence concepts later, have reduced teaching volume as well as textbook content several times. Especially, the part of chromosomal genetics maybe reduced about five times.

• The learning activities of pupils have increased as pupils have to infer consequence concepts (about 80% teaching program) from causing ones (20% program).

• The reform of genetics by the described way doesn’t require teachers to learn much because the subject is rearranged only, not modified, nor added.


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