A study of the effect of a practical activity on problem solving in chemistry

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A study of the effect of a practical activity on problem solving in chemistry (EN)

Kampourakis, C. (EN)

Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Θετικών Επιστημών. Τμήμα Χημείας (EL)
Kampourakis, C. (EN)

A practical activity on the well-known ammonia fountain experiment was used in order to find out if it can contribute to the solution of a demanding chemistry problem on the gas laws. Three different cohorts of Greek students from tenth and eleventh grade (16-17 year olds) were studied. It was found that students of experimental groups achieved higher scores than control groups, and the differences were in many cases statistically significant. The differences were not, however, very large. As the school process moved on, from tenth to late eleventh grade, a general improvement was observed. On the other hand, only a small proportion of the students found the practical activity relevant/useful to the solution of the problem, and these students had a much higher achievement than the rest of the students. Furthermore, students experienced difficulties in providing in writing a proper interpretation of the experiment. Finally, the common misconceptions and false interpretations are reported. The conclusion is that laboratory/practical activities and theory may constitute two non- or not strongly-overlapping "�spaces"™, at least when we use experiments such as the chosen one, which is both conceptually and practically very complicated. (EN)

problem solving (EN)

Chemistry Education Research and Practice (EN)



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