HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PROFICIENCY AND CONFIDENCE LEVELS IN DISPLAYING THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF BASIC ELECTROLYSIS CONCEPTS
- 496 Downloads
This study was conducted with 330 Form 4 (grade 10) students (aged 15 – 16 years) who were involved in a course of instruction on electrolysis concepts. The main purposes of this study were (1) to assess high school chemistry students’ understanding of 19 major principles of electrolysis using a recently developed 2-tier multiple-choice diagnostic instrument, the Electrolysis Diagnostic Instrument (EDI), and (2) to assess students’ confidence levels in displaying their knowledge and understanding of these electrolysis concepts. Analysis of students’ responses to the EDI showed that they displayed very limited understanding of the electrolytic processes involving molten compounds and aqueous solutions of compounds, with a mean score of 6.82 (out of a possible maximum of 17). Students were found to possess content knowledge about several electrolysis processes but did not provide suitable explanations for the changes that had occurred, with less than 45 % of students displaying scientifically acceptable understandings about electrolysis. In addition, students displayed limited confidence about making the correct selections for the items; yet, in 16 of the 17 items, the percentage of students who were confident that they had selected the correct answer to an item was higher than the actual percentage of students who correctly answered the corresponding item. The findings suggest several implications for classroom instruction on the electrolysis topic that need to be addressed in order to facilitate better understanding by students of electrolysis concepts.
KEY WORDSconfidence levels diagnostic test electrode reactions electrolysis electrolytes and non-electrolytes electroplating molten and aqueous electrolytes selective discharge of ions
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Ausubel, D. P. (1968). Educational psychology: A cognitive view. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
- Chan, K. H. & Mousley, J. (2005). Using word problems in Malaysian mathematics education: Looking beneath the surface. In H. L. Chick & J. L. Vincent (Eds.), Proceedings of the 29th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 2, pp. 217–224). Melbourne, Australia: PME.Google Scholar
- Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.). Oxford, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Curriculum Development Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia (2008). Malaysian school certificate chemistry syllabus for 2008. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Author.Google Scholar
- De Jong, O. & Treagust, D. F. (2002). The teaching and learning of electrochemistry. In J. G. Gilbert, O. De Jong, R. Justi, D. F. Treagust & J. H. van Driel (Eds.), Chemical education: Towards research based practice (pp. 317–338). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar
- Duit, R. (2009). Students’ and teachers’ conceptions and science education. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from http://www.ipn.uni-kiel.de/aktuell/stcse/stcse.html.
- Duit, R. & Treagust, D. F. (1998). Learning in science—from behaviourism towards social constructivism and beyond. In B. J. Fraser & K. G. Tobin (Eds.), International handbook of science education (Vol. 1, pp. 3–25). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
- Duit, R. & Treagust, D. F. (2003). Conceptual change: A powerful framework for improving science teaching and learning. Internal Journal of Science Teaching, 25(6), 671–688.Google Scholar
- Fensham, P. J. (1994). Beginning to teach chemistry. In P. J. Fensham, R. F. Gunstone & R. T. White (Eds.), The content of science: A constructivist approach to its teaching and learning (pp. 14–28). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
- Jack, B. M., Liu, C.-J., Chiu, H.-L., & Tsai, C-Y. (2012). Measuring the confidence of 8th grade Taiwanese students’ knowledge of acid and bases. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, in press.Google Scholar
- Jung, W. (1993). Uses of cognitive science to science education. Science Education, 2, 31–56.Google Scholar
- Nunally, J. C. & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Pintrich, P. R., Marx, R. W. & Boyle, R. A. (1993). Beyond cold conceptual change: The role of motivational beliefs and classroom contextual factors in the process of conceptual change. Review of Educational Research, 63, 167–199.Google Scholar
- Sia, D. T. (2010). Development and validation of a two-tier multiple-choice diagnostic instrument to evaluate secondary school students’ understanding of electrolysis concepts and comparing students’ confidence in answering the items in the instrument with their actual performance in the diagnostic test. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia.Google Scholar
- Treagust, D. F. (1995). Diagnostic assessment of students’ science knowledge. In S. M. Glynn & R. Duit (Eds.), Learning science in the schools: Research reforming practice (pp. 327–346). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Tytler, R. (2002). Teaching for understanding in science: Student conceptions research, and changing views of learning. Australian Science Teachers Journal, 48(3), 14–21.Google Scholar