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Effectiveness of constructivist approach on students' understanding of chemical bonding concepts

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2003
Uzuntiryaki, Esen
The main purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of instruction based on constructivist approach over traditionally designed chemistry instruction on ninth grade students2 understanding of chemical bonding concepts. In addition, the effect of instruction on students2 attitude toward chemistry as a school subject and the effect of gender difference on understanding of chemical bonding concepts were investigated. Forty-two ninth grade students from two classes of a chemistry course taught by the same teacher in METU Development Foundation Private School 2000-2001 spring semester were enrolled in the study. The classes were randomly assigned as control and experimental groups. Students in the control group were instructed by traditionally designed chemistry instruction whereas students in the experimental group were taught by the instruction based on constructivist approach. Chemical Bonding Concept Test was administered to both groups as a pre-test and post-test in order to assess their understanding of concepts related to chemical bonding. Students were also given Attitude Scale Toward Chemistry as a School Subject at the beginning and end of the study to determine their attitudes and Science Process Skill Test at the beginning of the study to measure their science process skills. The hypotheses were tested by using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The results indicated that instruction based on constructivist approach caused a significantly better acquisition of scientific conceptions related to chemical bonding and produced significantly higher positive attitudes toward chemistry as a school subject than the traditionally designed chemistry instruction. In addition, science process skill was a strong predictor in understanding the concepts related to chemical bonding. On the other hand, no significant effect of