Results of an Interview Study as Basis for the Categorization of Chemistry Students into Conceptual and Algorithmic Problem Solvers
This work is a report of a micro study carried out on the' effects of higher-order cognitive skills-oriented teaching strategy on the performance of senior secondary school chemistry students in solving stoichiometric problems'. In this study, problem solving category was used as one of the independent variables. This micro study involved 145 senior secondary school chemistry students with average age of 17.6 years, solving Chemistry Paired Algorithmic and Conceptual problems during a speak-aloud session. This exercise was carried out in order to classify them into conceptual and algorithmic problem solvers as well as to expose their misconceptions during problem solving. The results obtained indicated that the proportion of algorithmic problem solvers was greater than those of the conceptual problem solvers. Also, the study revealed that most students were able to solve algorithmic problems but lack the understanding of chemistry necessary for conceptual problems. The implications of this research were discussed in terms of instructional strategies aimed at transforming algorithmic problem solvers into conceptual problem solvers.
African Research Review Vol. 2 (2) 2008 pp. 128-153
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