New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Evaluation of the Impact of a Day Long General Chemistry Laboratory on 4th Year High School Students

Chiara Schettini, University of Camerino (Italy)

Fabio Marchetti, University of Camerino (Italy)

Corrado De Nicola, University of Camerino (Italy)

Silvia Zamponi, University of Camerino (Italy)

Rossana Galassi, University of Camerino (Italy)


Despite the recent new ministerial dispositions on the high school’s teaching of Chemistry introducing the cross correlation of chemistry concepts and their distribution on the five years long course, the chemistry teaching still remains disjointed from both practise and contacts with real life in specific high schools (Scientific Licei), even though these latter are strictly devoted to the study of all the branches of Natural Sciences, and hence also of Chemical Sciences. As an example, while most of these schools possess a Physics lab, the Chemistry lab is generally absent. This discrimination can be attributed to many factors: 1) the Chemistry laboratory requires specific and very expensive safety structures, 2) the Chemistry laboratory can produce waste substances needing special disposal, 3) in this context the teachers do not possess specific skills, as they are generally graduated in different scientific disciplines. All these facts limit the Chemistry lab implementation and, even when present in the school, its practical use. The lack of a chemistry teaching method based on / or supported by practical experiences can be a serious lack in the learning process leading to students having poor motivations on the study of Chemistry and scarce attitude to acquire a correct understanding of matter composition and related transformations. As a consequence, according to National Scientific Project (Piano Lauree Scientifiche), the UNICAM Chemistry degree course has promoted and evaluated the impact of a 6-8 hours long General Chemistry laboratory  to 11 selected Licei of the Marche region and relative Science teachers, to be attended in UNICAM by students of 3rd or 4th year high school. In these experiences, key concepts and chemical reactions themes of the General and Organic Chemistry have been proposed and shown by mean of practical experiences directly performed by the students or small groups of them. In the 2015/2016 academic year, about 400 students have been evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the daylong lab by a multi-answers questionnaire strictly related to the experienced reactions. The analysis of results shows an increase of about 20% of the correct answers after the laboratory experiences.


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[2] Shank, R. C.;Berman, T. R., Macpherson K. A. Instructional-design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory, Volume 2, Lawrence Erlabaum Associated Publishers, 1999, Edited by Charles M. Releguth, Chap 8, Pag 161. 
[3] Brooks, D. W. J. Chem. Educ., 1995, 72 (8), Pag 764.
[4] Leenson I. A. J. Chem. Educ. 2000, 77 (12), Pag. 165.
[5] Drssa Quadrini Michela is acknowledged for the spreadsheet and the functions implementation.

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