ERIC Number: ED210192
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Feb-20
Reference Count: N/A
Facilitating Problem Solving in High School Chemistry.
Gabel, Dorothy L.
The major purpose of this study was to determine whether certain types of instructional strategies (factor-label method, use of analogies, use of diagrams, and proportionality) were superior to others in teaching problem solving in four topics (mole concept, gas laws, stoichiometry, and molarity). Also of major interest was whether particular strategies would be more effective for students having different verbal-visual preferences, different levels of mathematics anxiety, and varying proportional reasoning ability. The design was a posttest only control group design. Subjects were 421 high school students drawn from 10 schools which ranged from rural/small town to metropolitan settings. Among other things, it was found that students of high mathematics anxiety scored significantly lower than did students of low mathematics anxiety, and that students of high proportional reasoning ability scored higher than did students of low ability. Findings related to the aptitude by treatment interaction indicate that students with high mathematics anxiety and an absence of another aptitude (visual preference or proportional reasoning ability) profited by instructional methods that contained supportive material that was not mathematical in nature. In a series of followup interviews, it was determined, among other findings, that students who did not understand the chemistry concepts were unsuccessful in problem solving and that students who were more successful used more organizing skills and used mneumonic notation. (SH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Indiana Univ., Bloomington. School of Education.