Proposal Title

An exploratory study to identify the equilibrium threshold concepts for students in chemistry education - promoting change in thinking and understanding -

Session Type

Presentation

Room

P&A 117

Start Date

5-7-2017 3:05 PM

Keywords

threshold concepts, chemical equilibrium

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Presentation Abstract

Equilibrium is an important concept in chemistry, due to its abstract nature, and is essential in developing an understanding of other areas of chemistry such as acid/base/salt behaviour, solubility, and oxidation/reduction reactions (Banerjee et al., 1991; Voska & Heikkinen, 2000). Many college-level chemistry students do not understand the concept of chemical equilibrium very well as they have not yet crossed the conceptual threshold that leads to mastery of this concept (Talanquer, 2015). A threshold concept can be considered as akin to a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something. It represents a transformed way of understanding, or interpreting something without which the learner cannot progress (Meyer & Land, 2006).

What are the threshold concepts for adult career-preparation and first-year university students for the study of chemical equilibrium so as to promote accurate conceptual changes and therefore further comprehend more advanced chemistry issues? The threshold concepts for chemical equilibrium have not been specifically identified to date. Through the student lens, my investigation aims to uncover, identify, and describe chemical threshold concepts in order to bring about change in thinking so that this particular concept is more thoroughly understood and meaningfully mastered. These changes encompass: transforming the way a discipline is understood, highlighting the interrelatedness of interdisciplinary knowledge, enhancing and extending the use of subject language, and restructuring prior schema (Wuetherick, 2012). Welcoming the above gives rise to changing and improving teaching strategies, assessment practices, and resource use.

Banerjee & Power (1991). International Journal of Science Education, 13, 355-362.

Meyer & Land (2006). In Meyer & Land (Eds.). (pp. 3-18). Routledge.

Talanquer (2015). Journal of Chemical Education, 92(1), 3-9.

Voska & Heikkinen (2000). Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(2), 160-176.

Wuetherick (2012). Bridges, 10(2).

Elements of Engagement

Preamble for My Research Proposal

My presentation will consist of approximately a 20-minute talk, enriched with power-point slides, on the identification and value of chemical equilibrium threshold concepts. At the end of the talk I will hand out paper copies of my survey-questionnaire and engage the audience with a discussion concerning the following:

  1. Critiquing my student/instructor survey-questionnaires (Appendix D, p.35) – question improvements?
  2. Suggestions on how grounded theory methodology will aid the gathering and analysis of my data – what categories or classes might be illustrated?

I will conclude the exchange of views with questions on my research proposal, a summary of improvements towards my survey-questionnaire, and ways to employ grounded theory in my research study in an effort to add new knowledge with respect to teaching and learning.

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Jul 5th, 3:05 PM

An exploratory study to identify the equilibrium threshold concepts for students in chemistry education - promoting change in thinking and understanding -

P&A 117

Presentation Abstract

Equilibrium is an important concept in chemistry, due to its abstract nature, and is essential in developing an understanding of other areas of chemistry such as acid/base/salt behaviour, solubility, and oxidation/reduction reactions (Banerjee et al., 1991; Voska & Heikkinen, 2000). Many college-level chemistry students do not understand the concept of chemical equilibrium very well as they have not yet crossed the conceptual threshold that leads to mastery of this concept (Talanquer, 2015). A threshold concept can be considered as akin to a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of thinking about something. It represents a transformed way of understanding, or interpreting something without which the learner cannot progress (Meyer & Land, 2006).

What are the threshold concepts for adult career-preparation and first-year university students for the study of chemical equilibrium so as to promote accurate conceptual changes and therefore further comprehend more advanced chemistry issues? The threshold concepts for chemical equilibrium have not been specifically identified to date. Through the student lens, my investigation aims to uncover, identify, and describe chemical threshold concepts in order to bring about change in thinking so that this particular concept is more thoroughly understood and meaningfully mastered. These changes encompass: transforming the way a discipline is understood, highlighting the interrelatedness of interdisciplinary knowledge, enhancing and extending the use of subject language, and restructuring prior schema (Wuetherick, 2012). Welcoming the above gives rise to changing and improving teaching strategies, assessment practices, and resource use.

Banerjee & Power (1991). International Journal of Science Education, 13, 355-362.

Meyer & Land (2006). In Meyer & Land (Eds.). (pp. 3-18). Routledge.

Talanquer (2015). Journal of Chemical Education, 92(1), 3-9.

Voska & Heikkinen (2000). Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(2), 160-176.

Wuetherick (2012). Bridges, 10(2).