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Application of the history of chemistry context to elementary school chemistry

Urška Mesar (2017) Application of the history of chemistry context to elementary school chemistry. MSc thesis.

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    Learning natural sciences, especially chemistry, is a difficult process, mainly because of the abstract content and concepts, but every child is born with a wish to learn. However, when they begin to associate learning with hard work in school, they lose motivation for learning. Teachers cannot motivate their students, but they can encourage their interest in learning. History of chemistry can be an additional motivator and encouragement to learn chemistry as well as other natural sciences. Studies have shown that learning about the history of science can improve or remove the wrong notions that students develop during the learning process. Classes that use history of chemistry to add variety or explain content through context are meant to facilitate the students’ understanding of the material. Knowing the history of the chemistry also holds great meaning for the development of scientific literacy, but it is important that students start learning about this content early enough. The purpose of this master's thesis is to show that Slovenian students have inadequate knowledge about the history of chemistry and to emphasize the importance of using lessons from history of chemistry in chemistry classes and curriculums for elementary schools as well as the effectiveness of the context of the history of chemistry for facilitating the understanding of learning content. The empirical part includes the research that was conducted at the end of school year 2015/16 among students that were ending ninth grade of Slovenian elementary school and six Slovenian elementary chemistry teachers. Students answered two questionnaires: a questionnaire about Reasons for Learning Chemistry (LRC) and a questionnaire about Interest for History of Chemistry (HIC). Students also got tested in their Knowledge of the History Chemistry (KHC). Every one of the six Slovenian elementary school chemistry teachers were interviewed. It has been shown that students know very little about history of the development of chemistry and that the context of history of Chemistry is rarely included in chemistry classes, more often it is included in elective chemistry courses, but these are the courses not all students participate in.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: history of chemistry, context, interest, motivation, science, elementary school students, chemistry teachers, chemistry class
    Number of Pages: 52
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Iztok DevetakMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11654729)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4583
    Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2017 12:03
    Last Modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:03
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4583

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