Different classes, different students? : a comparative study of different chemistry classes
Pederson, Bradley M.
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Differences in student motivation or why they take the classes that they do is difficult to measure, with out more probing questions. Differences in student learning have required classes that cover the same subject to be taught differently. Observations of which students are taking more science than required did not fit the preconceived notions; students in a nontraditional science class would be less likely to take a fourth year of science as opposed to those taking the traditional science class designed for the college bound. This study looked at how the students' experiences influence their outcomes in different chemistry classes. In Belle Plaine, MN there are two choices of Chemistry offered, traditional verses context-based. Each of these classes provide the student with a different experience in how they learn chemistry. The data collection and analysis revolved around two major themes. These themes answer the sub-questions dealing with the student's motivation and the student's performance. The data collection techniques of surveys, interviews, classroom assessments, and teacher reflection were used, and the results help answer my main research question, "How do students' goals influence their experience and outcomes in chemistry?"