Chemistry Education Research and Practice

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ISSN / EISSN : 1109-4028 / 1756-1108
Published by: The Royal Society of Chemistry (10.1039)
Total articles ≅ 1,308
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Chemistry Education Research and Practice, Volume 23, pp 1-2; https://doi.org/10.1039/d2rp90001g

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Meng-Yang M. Wu, Ellen J. Yezierski
Chemistry Education Research and Practice; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1rp00282a

Abstract:
Researchers have typically identified and characterized teachers’ knowledge bases (e.g., pedagogical content knowledge and subject matter knowledge) in an effort to improve enacted instructional strategies. As shown by the Refined Consensus Model (RCM), understanding teacher learning, beliefs, and practices is predicated on the interconnections of such knowledge bases. However, lesson planning (defined as the transformation of subject matter knowledge to enacted pedagogical content knowledge) remains underexplored despite its central position in the RCM. We aim to address this gap by developing a conceptual framework known as Pedagogical Chemistry Sensemaking (PedChemSense). PedChemSense theoretically expands upon the RCM that generates actionable guidelines to support chemsistry teachers’ lesson planning. We incorporate the constructs of sensemaking, Johnstone's triangle, and the models for perspective to provide a lesson-planning mechanism that is specific, accessible, and practical, respectively. Lesson examples from our own professional development contexts, the VisChem Institute, demonstrate the efficacy of PedChemSense. By leveraging teachers’ sensemaking of the limitations and utility of models, PedChemSense facilitates teachers’ designing for opportunities to advance their students’ chemistry conceptual understanding. Implications and recommendations for chemistry instruction and research at secondary and undergraduate levels are discussed.
Correction
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, Volume 23, pp 275-275; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1rp90013g

Abstract:
Correction for ‘South African physical sciences teachers’ use of formulae and proportion when answering reaction-based stoichiometry calculation questions’ by Angela Elisabeth Stott, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2021, 22, 443–456, DOI: 10.1039/D0RP00291G.
Charisse Tongson Reyes, , Christopher D. Thompson,
Chemistry Education Research and Practice; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1rp00171j

Abstract:
Rapid advancements in information and communication technologies (ICTs) have afforded numerous variations to traditional chemistry curricula where pedagogical strategies that have been employed have assumed “one-size-fits-all”. The translation of print-based instructional resources into multimodal online and digital forms enables greater accessibility, flexibility, and usability to support students in their understanding of complex chemistry concepts. To ideally offer an online learning environment that is accessible by all students to the greatest extent possible, this study employed the principles of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to analyse the design of online instructional resources for topics in first-year chemistry courses. Through application of UDL principles, students were provided with multiple means of representation of concepts, options for action and expression, and various avenues for engagement within the learning management system (LMS). This paper describes how the UDL framework was used to evaluate three separate independent Cases of tertiary first-year chemistry courses, including one university in the Philippines and two universities in Australia. Evaluation through surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews revealed students’ perceptions of the usefulness of the UDL-based features. Students cited benefit from multiple forms of content delivery, animations, interactive simulations, and video recordings because they facilitated processing of information, provided alternative ways of presenting the information, allowed for varying methods for response, navigation, and flexibility, and allowed for self-evaluation of their progress. These results suggest that applying the principles of the UDL framework in instructional design of an online environment in first-year chemistry courses can support and further enhance students’ learning irrespective of their individual contexts.
Michael K. Seery, Claire Murray, Yvonne Anderson, Charlotte Simms
Chemistry Education Research and Practice; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1rp00187f

Abstract:
Textbooks are an important aspect of students’ school lives and the representation of scientists in textbooks is a proxy for the representation of who can do science. This study investigated the names of scientists and other people mentioned in four commonly used textbooks in the three education systems in the UK and Republic of Ireland (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland using the A Level system; Scotland using the Curriculum for Excellence Highers system; Republic of Ireland using the Leaving Certificate system) and characterised them by gender. We found an overwhelming bias towards naming of famous men in three of the four textbooks (1 man and 0 women in the A Level textbook; 8 men and 0 women in the first, and 48 men and 2 women in the second Curriculum for Excellence textbooks, and 45 men and 1 woman in the Leaving Certificate). We subsequently analysed images and again found a dominance of images representing men in three of the four textbooks including only 4 women in a total of 68 images in the Leaving Certificate textbook. These images were analysed by role (scientist or not), and by activity according to UNESCO criteria. There was a tendency to show men in scientific and other occupational roles while women were less well represented in scientific roles and were pictured in domestic and buying activities. This work aims to raise awareness of these representations and prompt action for reform in line with UN Strategic Development goals.
Chemistry Education Research and Practice; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1rp00127b

Abstract:
Learning science outdoors can enhance the understanding of theoretical scientific content taught in the classroom. However, learners are rarely afforded the opportunity to go outdoors to learn chemistry. This study investigates how problem-based learning outdoors can facilitate the understanding of basic chemistry in teacher education. A teaching unit was designed according to which student teachers at two Norwegian universities were asked to examine and identify corroded metals in the nearby outdoor environment and propose solutions to avoid this corrosion. Video data from this task were collected by using chest-mounted cameras for four groups of student teachers (N = 17). A thematic analysis of the videos yielded four themes related to the student teachers’ use of content knowledge and experimental competence. Based on these findings, three learning opportunities were deduced for how the nearby outdoor environment allows learners to use everyday phenomena for learning basic chemistry. First, the availability of different corrosion incidents allowed the student teachers to choose and solve one of interest to them. Second, the proximity of the outdoor location to the classroom enabled the seamless continuity of discussions when switching between the learning arenas, and allowed for different approaches to solve the task. Third, being asked to conduct analyses outside customary laboratory routines led to an unexpected awareness of health and safety issues among the student teachers, indicating that outdoor chemistry is an overlooked opportunity for teaching these.
Morgan Balabanoff, Haiyan Al Fulaiti, Brittland K DeKorver, Michael Mack,
Chemistry Education Research and Practice; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1rp00270h

Abstract:
General Chemistry serves virtually all STEM students. It has been accused of covering content in a “mile wide and inch deep” fashion. This has made it very difficult to assess, where chemistry educators have relied on assessments of specific topics. Assessing across all these different topics requires introducing many different chemical systems and contexts, which may pose a threat to validity in the measurement of students’ knowledge of general chemistry concepts. With many different systems and contexts, it is possible that students will have varying familiarity, may resort to memorization, or rely on fragments of knowledge to answer. To account for challenges which may arise with different systems and contexts, we have developed an assessment instrument for measuring students’ understanding of key concepts from a year-long sequence of general chemistry that relies on a single context: water. The Water Instrument was developed using exploratory sequential design to target eight of the ten anchoring concepts for general chemistry. Psychometric results will be presented from the final pilot administration, where an item response model was used to evaluate the assessment. Further evidence gathered through Response Process Validity interviews will be presented. The evidence gathered indicates this assessment offers a valid and reliable estimate of students’ understanding of general chemistry concepts in the context of water, which makes this instrument promising for general chemistry assessment. The comprehensive nature of the assessment can provide rich information to instructors regarding their students’ conceptual knowledge of the wide range of topics covered in a year-long sequence of general chemistry.
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, Volume 23, pp 257-274; https://doi.org/10.1039/d1rp00298h

Abstract:
Previous research on student argumentation in the chemistry laboratory has emphasized the evaluation of argument quality or the characterization of argument structure (i.e., claims, evidence, rationale). In spite of this progress, little is known about the impact of the wide array of factors that impact students’ argumentation in the undergraduate laboratory. Building on our previous work involving activity framing, we analyzed student arguments produced following eight experiments that comprise the first semester of a college organic chemistry laboratory. Arguments were characterized by a set of domain-general coding categories that were related to the nature and quality of student arguments. Further, we explored the impact of four laboratory factors on the quality of arguments produced across the eight experiments in the laboratory curriculum. Our analysis revealed no trends on the effect of experiment order or general type on the quality of student arguments; however, the amount and types of data sources as well as the level of scaffolding provided both had an impact on student argument quality. Although the undergraduate laboratory offers a ripe opportunity for students to engage in argument from evidence, laboratory activity involves a complex web of components each with the potential to affect productive and quality sensemaking. Our findings highlight the importance of explicit consideration of various laboratory factors and their impact on how students express their chemical reasoning through written argumentation.
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