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The influence of 16‐year‐old students' gender, mental abilities, and motivation on their reading and drawing submicrorepresentations achievements

[journal article]

Devetak, Iztok; Glažar, Saša Aleksij

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Abstract Submicrorepresentations are a powerful tool for identifying misconceptions of chemical concepts and for generating proper mental models of chemical phenomena in students’ long term memory during chemical education. The main purpose of the study was to determine which independent variables (gender, formal reasoning abilities, visualization abilities and intrinsic motivation for learning chemistry) have the most influence on students’ reading and drawing submicrorepresentations. 386 secondary school students (aged 16.3 years) participated in the study. The instruments used in the study were: test of Chemical Knowledge, Test of Logical Thinking, two tests of visualization abilities Patterns and Rotations, and Questionnaire on Intrinsic Motivation for Learning Science. The results show moderate, but statistically significant correlations between students’ intrinsic motivation, formal reasoning abilities and chemical knowledge at submicroscopic level based on reading and drawing submicrorepresentations. Visualization abilities are not statistically significantly correlated with students’ success on items that comprise reading or drawing submicrorepresentations. It can be also concluded that there is a statistically significant difference between male and female students in solving problems that include reading or drawing submicrorepresentations. Based on these statistical results and content analysis of the sample problems, several educational strategies can be implemented for students to develop adequate mental models of chemical concepts on all three levels of representations.
Classification Curriculum, Teaching, Didactics; General Psychology
Free Keywords secondary school students'; submicrorepresentations; students' mental abilities; intrinsic motivation; misconceptions
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 1561-1593
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 32 (2010) 12
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690903150609
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)