Making connections : learning and teaching chemistry in context

King, Donna T., Bellocchi, Alberto, & Ritchie, Stephen M. (2008) Making connections : learning and teaching chemistry in context. Research in Science Education, 38(3), pp. 365-384.

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Even though several studies have reported positive attitudinal outcomes from context-based chemistry programs, methodological obstacles have prevented researchers from satisfactorily comparing the chemistry learning outcomes between students who experience a context-based program with those who experience a content-driven program. In this narrative inquiry we are able to address the question: how do the experiences of a student and her teacher in context-based and concept-based chemistry programs compare? From the student’s unique perspective of experiencing both programs with the same teacher, we have constructed our collective account around four themes; namely, the extent to which the student makes connections between chemistry concepts and real-world contexts, developing research independence through engaging in extended experimental inquiries related to contexts, learning chemistry concepts through contexts, and conceptual sequencing in a context-based program. The student reported real-world connections between chemistry concepts and contexts, found her engagement in the context-driven tasks interesting and productive, and identified connected sequences of concepts across the contexts studied. Despite difficulties for teachers who are required to shift pedagogies, the student's lived experiences and outcomes from a context-based program provide some encouragement in working through these issues.

Impact and interest:

16 citations in Scopus
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17 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 14509
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Context, based approach, Chemistry curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Narrative inquiry, HERN
DOI: 10.1007/s11165-007-9070-9
ISSN: 1573-1898
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink
Deposited On: 26 Aug 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:07

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