Teaching chemistry in context : the effect on student learning and attitudes

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School


In this investigation, chemistry content was taught in-context with real world examples in order to determine the effects of student learning and attitudes toward chemistry. Participants included one class of four high school students in an advanced chemistry course. The treatment included three in-context units including the topics of Gasoline, Biofuels, and Plastics. Student learning was assessed using Pre and Post-Knowledge Probes, Focused Listing, and Daily Diagnostic Learning Logs. Student attitude changes were assessed using surveys, interviews, and observations during small group discussions. Results indicated that student learning was positively impacted as all Post-test outcomes had an average increase of over 45%. Student interviews showed that attitudes were positively impacted as all students said they liked chemistry, and after the treatment, found enjoyment in knowing how the world works.




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