Title

Exploring gaps and students’ difficulties in text and visuals about chemical bonding and acids & bases in grade nine chemistry textbook of Sindh Textbook Board

Date of Award

9-11-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

The study engaged six secondary chemistry teachers in analysis of text and visuals of some selected topics of chemical bonding and acids and bases in Sindh Textbook Board’s grade nine chemistry textbook. The purpose of analysis was to explore gaps in the selected text and visuals. Along with analysis teachers’ views about improvement of the selected text and visuals were also collected. Furthermore, the study explored students’ difficulties with the selected text and visuals. The study used qualitative exploratory study design. The data collection tools used were questionnaires and focus group interviews. Separate questionnaires for teachers and students were developed by the researcher. The study engaged six chemistry teachers from four different schools of Karachi (three government and one private) and twelve grade nine students from another government girls’ high school of Karachi. The major findings from teachers revealed that some text of the selected concepts in the textbook lacked adequate explanation. These concepts are: (a) introduction to chemical bond formation (b) electrostatic nature of covalent bond (c) development of charge on ions (d) limitations of Arrhenius and Lowery-Bronsted models of acids & bases (e) some scientific terms like delocalization, concept of litmus etc. The study also found that the explanation of the selected concepts given in text lacked inclusion of students’ previous knowledge and analogies. It was also discovered during the study that absence of sub-microscopic level and macroscopic level diagrams about given chemical reactions of acids and bases made the concept difficult for the students. Students were also found struggling with dot and cross diagrams and high use of scientific language in text. The study recommends textbooks writers to include the important information and explanations of the concepts in the text that has been found missing during this study. Moreover, it is also recommended to textbook writers that incorporation of students’ previous knowledge, analogies, macroscopic and sub-microscopic level visuals about chemical equations is made in the text. Similarly, textbook writers are recommended to use simple language in text for explaining chemical concepts rather than using a lot of scientific terms. Furthermore, teachers are recommended to provide that important content to students during teaching which is missing in textbook.

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