Promoting Pre-service Elementary Students' Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium through Discussions in Small Groups

Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of small group discussion on students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium. Students' understanding of chemical equilibrium concepts was measured using the Misconception Identification Test. The test consisted of 30 items and administered as pre-posttests to a total of 81 pre-service elementary students in two intact classes of the same university. One of the classes was randomly assigned as experimental group (n = 40) which was instructed with discussion propositions related to chemical equilibrium concepts in small group and the other class was assigned as control group (n = 41) which was instructed through traditionally designed chemistry instruction. Analysis of covariate (ANCOVA) was used to determine treatment effects on students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium when pre-test result was used a covariate. The analysis of results showed a statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups' posttest mean scores in favor of the experimental group after treatment (F(1,78) = 47,77; P < 0.05). The results indicated that while the average percentage of students in the experimental group holding a scientifically correct concept had risen from 35.0% to 59.1%, a gain of 24.1%, the percentage of correct responses of the students in the control group had increased from 32.5% to 43.82%, a gain of 11.32% after treatment. In addition, the percentages of students' correct responses and keyed misconceptions on posttest results were discussed for six areas related to: (1) the mass vs. concentration, (2) rate vs. extent, (3) constancy of the equilibrium constant, (4) misuse of Le Chatelier's principle, (5) constant concentration, and (6) competing equilibria related to chemical equilibrium concepts in experimental and control groups.

Key Words

chemical equilibrium misconception propositional knowledge small group discussions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Elementary EducationAbant Izzet Baysal UniversityBoluTurkey

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