The Use of Productive Inquiry in the Teaching of Problem Solving in Chemical Stoichiometry

Thomas D.T. Sedumedi

Abstract


This paper reports about the use of productive inquiry approach as an intervention in the teaching of problem solving in chemical stoichiometry. The initial method used for this study was the traditional direct lecture. The objective of the study was to explore differences between the two methods when used to teach problem solving among preservice student teachers (PST) in chemical stoichiometry. As indicated the productive inquiry method (PIM) was used as an intervention method and the direct lecture method (DLM) served the role of benchmarking students’ conceptual understanding. In effect the study was to observe the functioning of students’ knowledge structures on problem solving and subsequently their effect on performance or achievement on the topic. Both the quantitative and qualitative methods were used. The analysis of knowledge structures was based on two perspectives used to describe knowledge, namely, the view that knowledge is theory and it is also made of elements. The findings in this study, varied among students within and across the two methods. Within the methods, individual students exhibited different responses. Across the methods, the PIM produced superior outcomes on students’ problem solving. In light of these findings, it can be concluded that students have preferences towards teaching methods or environments. The outcome of this study, suggests the need to mix teaching methods to maximise learning by students with diverse learning styles. Finally, the notion that students have preferences of teaching methods or environments was, confirmed as not all students’ problem solving abilities were improved by the use of PIM.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p1346


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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