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ERIC Number: ED518539
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 227
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-5380-3
Development and Assessment of Green, Research-Based Instructional Materials for the General Chemistry Laboratory
Cacciatore, Kristen L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston
This research entails integrating two novel approaches for enriching student learning in chemistry into the context of the general chemistry laboratory. The first is a pedagogical approach based on research in cognitive science and the second is the green chemistry philosophy. Research has shown that inquiry-based approaches are effective in improving student learning outcomes in general chemistry when used comprehensively in the general chemistry laboratory. Little prior research exists about effects on student learning about green chemistry. A novel experimental protocol called Laboratory Report Templates (LRT) was designed, and three LRT experiments and supplemental materials for the general chemistry laboratory were created utilizing the principles of green chemistry and current research findings on student learning. These experiments were successfully field-tested and implemented in university and high school settings. This work represents an important contribution to science curriculum design because the LRT protocol uniquely motivates development of students' scientific communication skills and has wide potential applicability. A study comparing student learning of chemistry content and experimental design skills following completion of one of the LRT experiments or a traditional experiment on identical chemistry content was conducted. Study results indicate that students who completed the LRT experiment learned significantly more content and experimental skills directly related to the content of the experiment than did students who completed the traditional experiment. This study demonstrates that changing one lab in general chemistry curricula from traditional to research-based has a positive effect on student learning. This finding is important because incremental curricular change is a promising alternative to the wholesale curricular change that has been shown to be effective, because an incremental approach minimizes the most common barriers to change. The study also suggests that a green chemistry focus does not detract from student learning of core chemistry content. Green chemistry is a valuable addition to the curriculum because it reduces negative environmental impacts and health hazards and informs students about a theme of growing importance in chemistry, and it may enhance student motivation to pursue chemistry. Further research is warranted to explore the effects of incremental curricular change and a green chemistry focus on student learning and motivation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A