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The effect of conceptual change approach on students' understanding of solubility equilibrium concepts

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2006
Önder, İsmail
The main purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of instructions one based on conceptual change approach and the other based on traditional chemistry instruction on tenth grade high school students’ understanding of solubility equilibrium concept. In addition, students’ attitudes toward chemistry as a school subject and toward conceptual change texts were investigated. Moreover, students’ science process skills were also investigated. 125 tenth grade students from four classes of a chemistry course taught by three teachers in Kocatepe Mimar Kemal High School in 2004-2005 spring semesters were enrolled in the study. Quasi-experimental research design where intact groups were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups, was applied since it was difficult to arrange students randomly to experimental and control groups. Students in experimental group instructed by conceptual change approach in which conceptual change texts were used. On the other hand, in control group students were instructed by traditionally designed chemistry instruction. Solution concept test was administered as a pre test before the study to all groups. In addition, science process skill test and attitude scale toward chemistry as a school subject were also administered to students before the study. Solubility equilibrium concept test was administered as a post test to all groups. Moreover, each group also received attitude scale toward chemistry after the treatment and the students in experimental group also received attitude scale toward conceptual change texts after the treatment. The hypotheses were tested by using correlation analysis, t-test, ANOVA and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The results indicated that instruction based on conceptual change approach caused significantly better acquisition of concepts related to solubility equilibrium than the traditionally designed chemistry instruction. In addition, no significant difference was found between experimental group and control group students with respect to attitudes toward chemistry as a school subject. However, significant mean difference was found between male and female students with respect to both their attitudes toward chemistry and their attitudes toward CCTs. Moreover, no relationship was obtained between attitudes toward CCTs and understanding of solubility equilibrium concept. In addition, students’ science process skills and prior achievements were strong predictor of understanding of concepts related to solubility equilibrium. On the other hand, no significant effect of interaction between gender difference and treatment with respect to both students’ understanding of solubility equilibrium concept and their attitudes toward chemistry as a school subject was found. Results obtained revealed that students have several misconceptions that hinder learning, related to solubility equilibrium concept. Therefore, it is important to find ways for remediation of those misconceptions. Therefore, the effectiveness of instruction based on CCA in which CCTs were used in this study on remediation of misconceptions and enhancing understanding of solubility equilibrium concept compared to instruction based on traditional methods was investigated and instruction based on CCA was found more effective.