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ERIC Number: EJ933248
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
Conceptual versus Algorithmic Problem-Solving: Focusing on Problems Dealing with Conservation of Matter in Chemistry
Salta, Katerina; Tzougraki, Chryssa
Research in Science Education, v41 n4 p587-609 Aug 2011
The students' performance in various types of problems dealing with the conservation of matter during chemical reactions has been investigated at different levels of schooling. The participants were 499 ninth grade (ages 14, 15 years) and 624 eleventh grade (ages 16, 17 years) Greek students. Data was collected using a written questionnaire concerning basic chemical concepts. Results of statistical factor and correlation analysis confirmed the classification of the problems used in three types: "algorithmic-type", "particulate-type", and "conceptual-type". All the students had a far better performance in "particulate-type" problems than in the others. Although students' ability in solving "algorithmic-type" problem increases as their school experience in chemistry progresses, their ability in solving "conceptual-type" problems decreases. Students' achievement in chemistry was measured by a Chemical Concepts Test (CCT) containing 57 questions of various forms. High-achievement students scored higher both on "algorithmic-type" and "particulate-type" problems than low achievers with the greatest difference observed in solving "algorithmic-type" problems. It is concluded that competence in "particulate-type" and "algorithmic-type" problem solving may be independent of competence in solving "conceptual-type" ones. Furthermore, it was found that students' misconceptions concerning chemical reactions and equivalence between mass and energy are impediments to their problem solving abilities. Finally, based on the findings, few suggestions concerning teaching practices are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 11; Grade 9
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A