Analysis of Levels of Student Processing to Investigate Students’ Science Literacy

Trent Lechleitner, “Analysis of Levels of Student Processing to Investigate Students’ Science Literacy”
Mentors: Kristen Murphy & Allison Tmoczyk, Chemistry & Biochemistry

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has outlined four themes that define science literacy; these are systems, models, constancy and change, and scale. More recently, the National Research Council has released the framework for K-12 science education that includes “Scale, Proportion, and Quantity.” Previous research in chemistry has shown that scale literacy is a better predictor for success than traditional measures in general chemistry I or II. Scale has been integrated as a theme in the undergraduate general chemistry curriculum. Targeted scale instruction has led to increases in student learning measured by final exam performance. However, the learning gains in general chemistry I were higher than general chemistry II. The goal of this project is to understand the processing students use to solve general chemistry II problems that include the concept of scale. Linked problems were studied in a treatment of general chemistry II that included all aspects of the incorporation of scale-themed instruction. Results of the categorizations, levels of expertise, as well as the relationship between these levels of expertise and scale literacy will be presented.

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