Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Matthew Miller

Keywords

attitudes toward chemistry, intermolecular forces, knowledge transfer, prior knowledge, recollection, undergraduate students

Abstract

Certain foundational concepts, including acid-base theory, chemical bonding and intermolecular forces (IMFs), appear throughout the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. The level of understanding of these foundational concepts influences the ability of students to recognize the relationships between sub-disciplines in chemistry. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between student attitudes towards chemistry and their abilities to recollect and transfer knowledge of IMFs, a foundational concept, to their daily lives as well as to other classes. Data were collected using surveys, interviews and classroom observations, and analyzed using qualitative methods. The data show that while most students were able to function at lower levels of thinking by providing a definition of IMFs, majority were unable to function at higher levels of thinking as evidenced by their inability to apply their knowledge of IMFs to their daily lives and other classes. The results of this study suggest a positive relationship between students’ abilities to recollect knowledge and their abilities to transfer that knowledge. The results also suggest positive relationships between recollection abilities of students and their attitudes towards chemistry as well as their transfer abilities and attitudes towards chemistry. Recommendations from this study include modifications of pedagogical techniques in ways that facilitate higher-level thinking and emphasize how chemistry applies not only to daily life, but also to other courses.

Description

Includes bibliographical references (pages 212-225)

Format

application/pdf

Number of Pages

241

Publisher

South Dakota State University

Rights

Copyright © 2017 Oluwatobi Omobonike Odeleye

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