Type of Document Thesis Author Saka, Yavuz URN etd-06272003-150423 Title Understanding of College Chemistry Instructorís Beliefs on Teaching Chemistry and Influences on Studentsí Learning and their Meaning Making in a General Chemistry Class Degree Master of Science Department Middle and Secondary Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Nancy T. Davis Committee Chair Alejandro J. Gallard Committee Member Penny J. Gilmer Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 2003-01-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis study explored a college level chemistry teacherís beliefs of teaching science and her multiple teaching strategies that she used to enhance her studentsí general chemistry learning in an undergraduate introductory chemistry class. In
addition, this study explored studentsí perceptions of the instructorís method of teaching. This study was conducted by using Guba and Lincolnís (1989) Fourth Generation Evaluation qualitative research procedures, which involved interpretation of the meaning constructions in the setting. In order to ascertain the teacherís beliefs of teaching science and her multiple teaching strategies, data were collected through interviews, observations, exploring the instructorís publications, field notes as well as the course syllabus.
Data pertaining to the students were collected through a single interview, observations, one-minute take questions (i.e. a brief after-class question that usually took 1 minute to answer), field notes and the studentsí personal Web
portfolios. The researcher collected the data for a period of 16 weeks and it entailed the evaluation of 84 studentsí Web portfolios as well as a subsequent rubric that highlighted the studentsí meaning making toward the use of technology in chemistry class. The results of the study indicate that the teacher believed that traditional approaches to teaching chemistry often made students disinterested in the subject. However, she believed that the use of multiple teaching strategies such as the use of a class Web site, e-mail communication, goal-orientation, and chemistry demonstrations enabled the students to learn chemistry without losing interest.
The teacherís goal was to enable the students to make connections between their class learning and real life applications of the class content. Accordingly to the social constructivist paradigm (Guba & Lincoln, 1989), every individualís
meaning making cannot be same, even in the same context. The results also revealed the some of the students were not adept to the multiple teaching
strategies used by the teachers. Some of the students believed that the teaching style of the teacher was demanding and ineffective because of the bulk of activities in the class. As a result, many students only focused on passing the
class, and not on learning the content. On the other hand, some of the studentsí meaning making and understanding of the course reflected a considerable level of development as the teacherís multiple teaching strategies enhanced their learning and motivation toward science.
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