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ERIC Number: EJ1051093
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0126-7663
Representational Competence among Malaysian Chemistry Students: Unearthing the Conceptual Hitches
Sim, Joong Hiong; Daniel, Esther Gnanamalar Sarojini
Journal of Science and Mathematics Education in Southeast Asia, v37 n1 p67-93 2014
Developing representational competence early in chemistry education is important. However, research to uncover students' difficulties with representational competence of basic chemical concepts in the early years of their chemistry course is scarce. The purpose of this study was to investigate and identify these difficulties. A total of 384 Malaysian Form 4 science students (mean age = 16 years) participated in this study. Five categories of representational competence were assessed. Quantitative data were obtained from an instrument namely the Test of Representational Competence (TRC). Findings showed majority of the participants encountered difficulties interpreting chemical representations (66%), making connections between representations and concepts (51%), using representations to generate explanations (73%), as well as translating between representations across the three levels: macroscopic, submicroscopic and symbolic (79%). Comparing the percent mean difficulty, it could be concluded that the participants encountered most difficulty translating between different representations across levels. Several implications arising from the findings are also put forward.
Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics (SEAMEO RECSAM). Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. Tel: +011-60-4-658-3266; Fax: +011-60-4-657-2541; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malaysia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A