ERIC Number: EJ1113770
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Inter-Level Scaffolding and Sequences of Representational Activities in Teaching a Chemical System with Graphical Simulations
Li, Na; Black, John B.
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v25 n5 p715-730 Oct 2016
Chemistry knowledge can be represented at macro-, micro- and symbolic levels, and learning a chemistry topic requires students to engage in multiple representational activities. This study focused on scaffolding for inter-level connection-making in learning chemistry knowledge with graphical simulations. We also tested whether different sequences of representational activities produced different student learning outcomes in learning a chemistry topic. A sample of 129 seventh graders participated in this study. In a simulation-based environment, participants completed three representational activities to learn several ideal gas law concepts. We conducted a 2 × 3 factorial design experiment. We compared two scaffolding conditions: (1) the "inter-level" scaffolding condition in which participants received inter-level questions and experienced the dynamic link function in the simulation-based environment and (2) the "intra-level" scaffolding condition in which participants received intra-level questions and did not experience the dynamic link function. We also compared three different sequences of representational activities: macro-symbolic-micro, micro-symbolic-macro and symbolic-micro-macro. For the scaffolding variable, we found that the "inter-level" scaffolding condition produced significantly better performance in both knowledge comprehension and application, compared to the "intra-level" scaffolding condition. For the sequence variable, we found that the macro-symbolic-micro sequence produced significantly better knowledge comprehension performance than the other two sequences; however, it did not benefit knowledge application performance. There was a trend that the treatment group who experienced "inter-level" scaffolding and the micro-symbolic-macro sequence achieved the best knowledge application performance.
Descriptors: Chemistry, Science Instruction, Grade 7, Simulation, Scientific Concepts, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Sequential Approach
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A