We conducted a questionnaire survey at an elementary school regarding how aware children were of the genetic phenomena; the selected children were from third grade to sixth grade classes and the total number of respondents was 420. The children were given figures and texts that explained the inheritance of biological characteristics in plant (angiosperms) and in insects, and also explained fish development, then were requested to describe their own ideas freely about the mechanism of those phenomena. More than 60 percent of children in the survey classes described their thoughts about the mechanism of inheritance of biological characteristics. Explanations dealing the contents of seeds and eggs outnumbered that by appearance only of seeds and eggs or environmental conditions. The ratio of children who used terms “gene” and /or “DNA” in their description of the mechanism of inheritance of biological characteristics was about 40% in the 6th year class. On the other hand, few children mentioned about gene and/or DNA in answering the mechanism of fish development. These results show that it is sufficiently possible to share with elementary school children the nature of genes and DNA by discussing the mechanism of the inheritance of biological characteristics, but is difficult by discussing the development of living killifish.
The questionnaire about cultivation and breeding activities was performed for the university students who are majoring in elementary science, and factor analysis of the educational role of cultivation and breeding activities was performed. Conse-quently, two factors, “the favorable impression and positivity to plants and animals”, and “protection to animals, care to plants” were extracted. This means that affirmative consciousness to cultivation and breeding is recognized in students. There are significant differences according to student gender for 8 items among 17 questions by analysis of variance. However, there was no significant difference between the beginning of cultivation activities, and at the end. Futures themes for students and university will be how this recognition is utilizable for elementary education.