Introducing Microscale Experimentation in Volumetric Analysis for Pre-service Teachers
Experiments are considered a subset of practical or laboratory work, which is a didactic method of learning and practicing all the activities involved in chemistry. Central to the teaching-learning approach in the chemistry curriculum is the mastery of scientific skills, which comprise process skills, manipulative skills, and thinking skills. Students require the hands-on practical and personal laboratory experiences to acquire the skills. Volumetric analysis is one of the important concepts in chemistry that is applied in practical chemistry for the Malaysian Pre-Service teachers (PPISMP) program. However, practical chemistry classes are normally conducted in groups of four or five students for several reasons, which include cost, safety, waste disposal, and preparation time. The size of the groups limits participation to only one or two students. This can result in a low level of acquisition of scientific skills and knowledge among the students. The traditional style practicals also leave little room for creativity because opportunities for students to be involved in the activities are limited. Introducing the microscale chemistry approach at the pre-service level would help overcome these problems since this technique allows the students to conduct experiments individually. It is an environmentally safe technique with a pollution-prevention approach accomplished by using miniature glassware and significantly reduced amounts of chemicals. This study was conducted to introduce microscale chemistry experimentation in the PPISMP practical science syllabus and evaluate the feasibility of conducting this approach with students. The survey involved 39 students enrolled in the PPISMP program majoring in science. Findings show that the microscale chemistry approach produced significant advantages in terms of cost, waste, and time as well as precision. In addition, students rated this approach positively.
KeywordsTraditional Technique Practical Work Volumetric Analysis Practical Science Scientific Skill
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