New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Investigating the Laboratory Experiences of Chemistry Teachers

Johnson Enero Upahi, University of Ilorin (Nigeria)

Umesh Ramnarain, University of Johannesburg (South Africa)

Arafat Asake Abdussalam, University of Ilorin (Nigeria)


Science laboratory is a distinct feature of science education. And laboratory or practical activities plays a critical role in the implementation of chemistry curriculum for learners’ understanding of the natural world. The achievement of the traditional objectives of practical work in school curriculum is dependent on a number of factors that include teachers’ goals, expectations, experiences and their pedagogical content knowledge. In this study, we sought to examine chemistry teachers’ laboratory experiences for the overall effectiveness of practical work in chemistry curriculum. Specifically, we explored the features of laboratory-based activities that characterize teachers’ practices, frequency of laboratory activities and factors that influence their choices to implement laboratory activities. We adapted a survey instrument developed by Boersdorfer and Livermoore (2017) to investigate chemistry teachers’ laboratory experiences. The survey instrument was administered to about 155 chemistry teachers, but only 100 questionnaires were completed and analysed. Our findings revealed that the mean scores for students-generated research questions and procedure to guide laboratory-based activities was lower compared to other features. While the frequency of teachers’ use of laboratory activities was significantly high, the mean score of factors that teachers identified to have impacted on their choice or decision to implement laboratory-based activities was higher for availability of chemicals, safety facilities, and laboratory glass wares. Implications for inquiry laboratory that allows students to be actively involved in science learning process and availability of resources for laboratory-based activities are discussed.

Keywords: Teachers’ experiences, Laboratory-based activities, Chemistry;

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