What makes chemistry difficult?

  • MM Woldeamanuel
  • H Atagana
  • T Engida


According to many students, introductory chemistry is difficult. We are  investigating what makes students believe Chemistry is difficult and what can be done to overcome these difficulties. Our investigation includes an initial  Free-response survey given to approximately 100 students in an introductory chemistry course and a second survey, which was given to approximately 93 students in another semester, distilled from the  responses to the first survey. Also Department members and technical assistants (TAs) for chemistry  courses were asked to complete the second survey. Our findings show that the perceptions of the students and department members are different in terms of difficulties which students have in a chemistry course. The perceptions of teachers and TAs are mostly the same. Both students and department  members agree that student-related factors, such as scientific language literacy have the most influence on students’ successes in chemistry. [AJCE 4(2), Special Issue, May 2014]

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print ISSN: 2227-5835