New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Problem Solving Abilities of High School Chemistry Students

Laddawan Burana, Srinakharinwirot University (Thailand)

Chanyah Dahsah, Srinakharinwirot University (Thailand)


Problem solving is defined as important abilities for students in quantitative chemistry. The literature suggest that many high school students faced difficulty in learning quantitative chemistry due to the lack of problem solving abilities. There are three main components of problem solving which are; 1) ability to understand the problem; 2) ability to connect the related concepts; and 3) ability to solve the problem and fid the answer. However, a little literature indicated which components of problem solving that most challenge for the high school chemistry students. Thus, this study aimed to explored students problem solving ability in each component using concepts of solution. The participants were 50 high school chemistry students (Grade 11) who had learned solution topic. The research instrument was open-ended problem solving test, 16 items, that constructed by the researchers.  The chemistry concepts include concentration and preparation of solution. The test were validated by three experts. The results indicated that students faced difficulty in all three components. There were about 40 percent of the students be able to do the first two components. Only 25 percent of the students were able to achieve the third component, which is solving the problem and finding the answer. In addition only 11 percent of the students were at high level of problem solving abilities and 43 percent were at low level of problem solving ability. The results also indicated that the students faced more difficulty in the concepts of mole fraction, preparation of solution, molarity, and molality.  The finding of this study would suggest that to be successful in the teaching quantitative chemistry, the instructors need to take more consideration about students problem solving abilities, especially the ability to solve the problem and find the answer, and scaffold them using variety of techniques to improve their problem solving abilities until they are able to solve quantitative chemistry effectively.

Keywords: Problem Solving Abilities, Quantitative Chemistry, Solution, High School.


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