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Investigating First-Year Chemistry Learning Difficulties in the South Pacific: A Case Study from Fiji

  • Richard Kevin CollEmail author
  • Sadaquat Ali
  • John Bonato
  • David Rohindra
Article

Abstract

The learning difficulties for new entrant chemistry students from a multi-national, regional, tertiary education institution in the South Pacific were investigated using a purpose-designed diagnostic instrument. The instrument contained 25 items distributed across three themes: scientific reasoning, numeracy and scientific language literacy. The research findings suggest that the main learning difficulty facing these students is in numeracy with students able to interpret numerical data presented in graphical form and to complete rudimentary numerical calculations, but unable to use numerical data or perform calculations involving ratios. Targeted remedial tutoring, based on the results of this diagnostic test instrument, rather than content-driven extra tutorials, are suggested for remediation of learning difficulties.

Key Words

chemistry learning difficulties South Pacific tertiary education 

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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Kevin Coll
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sadaquat Ali
    • 1
  • John Bonato
    • 1
  • David Rohindra
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Science and Technology Education ResearchUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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