Grade 10 students` perspectives on making learning of Chemistry effective: An exploratory study from District Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Sadia Bhutta


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The study aimed to explore the perspectives of Grade 10 students regarding the difficulties in learning specific chemistry concepts, the major reasons that lead students to experience difficulties in learning chemistry, and the suggestion of students to make the learning effective. The study majorly employed a quantitative method; however qualitative method was also employed as the DELCQ (“Difficulties and Effectiveness of Learning Chemistry Questionnaire) adapted from an earlier study (Cimer, 2012) comprised of one close-ended and two open-ended questions. Therefore, qualitative coding was employed to quantify the qualitative responses of students.
Altogether 320 students participated in the cross-sectional survey of the study. The sample included more girls (n=166; 52%) than boys (n=154; 48%) from 12 high schools (Boys: n= 8; girls: n= 4) of District Ghizer.
The results revealed that students identified metallurgical operations (n=173; 54%), periodicity of elements (n=102; 32%), pH scales (n=82; 25%), functional groups (n=78; 24%), and alkanes and alkyl radicals (n=76; 23%) as the five most difficult concepts to learn in chemistry.
Students unveiled various reasons for creating hindrances in learning which include; the complex nature of topics, the teaching style of teachers', students' studying and learning habits, students' attitudes toward learning chemistry, and the lack of resources and time. The nature of the subject is an important hindrance in learning; however, the study and learning habits of students were the most prominent reason for creating hindrance in learning as revealed by the responses of students.
Students have also suggested various interesting strategies to improve the learning of chemistry besides identifying the difficulties. These important suggestions include: reducing the content of chemistry, teaching chemistry through visual materials, teaching chemistry through practical works, students using different study techniques, making the teaching fun and interesting, and teaching the subject by connecting the real life. Interestingly, students have mentioned their different studying styles and techniques as the most prominent (381 citations) tactics to make the learning of chemistry effective. However, they have also given importance to the other suggested techniques to improve the learning of chemistry.
Overall this study identified the difficulties of students in learning chemistry and the suggestions to make the learning effective through the voices of students. The findings of the study could be helpful for classroom instructors, teacher educators, practitioners, and policymakers to enhance the curriculum and instructional strategies for chemistry to improve the students' learning outcomes in the subject. The adapted tool of this study is also useful in indigenous literature where it can be used by researchers to conduct large-scale studies in the field.

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