P759: Chemistry self-concept in high school classrooms

Author: Sara E. Nielsen, Miami University, USA

Co-Author: Ellen J. Yezierski, Miami University, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 9:35 AM9:55 AM

Room: MAK B1138

Related Symposium: S59

Past research in chemistry education has shown that students’ achievement is linked to their beliefs about their abilities. This aligns with theories from the field of social psychology, especially Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory. Bandura’s theory outlines the reciprocal relationships among the personal, behavioral, and environmental determinants. In this study the personal determinant is represented by students’ chemistry self-concept, the behavioral determinant by students’ achievement, and the environmental determinant by the instructional methods and atmosphere of the chemistry classroom. This longitudinal repeated-measures study was conducted in high school chemistry classrooms over 2 academic years. Participants include over 300 high school chemistry students from nine classrooms and 8 teachers. The data for the personal, behavioral, and environmental determinants were collected using the Chemistry Self-Concept Inventory (CSCI), chemistry content quizzes, and the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol, respectively. CSCI validity and reliability were carefully evaluated in addition to analyzing students’ longitudinal performance on the measures and relationships among them. As expected, the data show a correlation between students’ chemistry self-concept and their chemistry achievement. However, other results including sex-based differences in self-concept scores and other trends in self-concept scores over time make new contributions to our understanding of the role of the affective domain in high school chemistry. Results from the study and implications for teaching and research will be presented.

P258: High school students’ chemistry self-concept: The role of the teacher and classroom climate

Author: Sara E. Nielsen, Miami University, USA

Co-Author: Ellen J. Yezierski, Miami University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 3:05 PM3:25 PM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S4

The field of social psychology has many theories that can help inform chemistry education research. Carol Dweck’s work on self-theories describes how the beliefs people hold about the nature of intelligence affects their actions in a school setting. Peoples’ beliefs fall on a continuum between the idea that intelligence is fixed and permanent (entity theory) and the idea that intelligence is highly malleable (incremental theory). There are published instruments that can measure the degree to which a person is an entity theorist or an incremental theorist. In the current study, all teachers and students who participated in interviews defined intelligence and completed a survey of their beliefs about intelligence. Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory outlines the reciprocal relationships among the personal, behavioral, and environmental determinants in learning. The Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) is a valuable tool that education researchers use to quantify some aspects of the classroom environment. The attitude and beliefs of the teacher, which are not evaluated using the RTOP, can have a noticeable impact on the personal and behavioral determinants of the students. To better study the role of the teacher and the classroom environment, over 50 hours of high school chemistry classroom videos and interviews with the classroom teachers and some of their students provide the quantitative and qualitative data about the classroom environment and its relationship to students’ chemistry self-concept. Results and implications for future research and teaching will be presented.