Conference proceedings article
Chemie im Kontext: Outcomes of an Implementation of a Context-Based Methodology for Chemistry Teaching.

Publication Details
Sanchez Diaz, I.; Di Fuccia, D.
Gómez Chova, L.; López Martínez, A.; Candel Torres, I.
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12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference Proceedings


One of the main problems in science education nowadays, and especially in chemical education, is that the students usually cannot perceive the relevance of what they learn in their classes. There have been some efforts to improve the student interest and motivation without diminishing the understanding of the chemistry concepts. The context-based methodologies allow the students to see the relevance and applicability of what they learn in the chemistry classes, connecting the canonical science with their lives, interests and previous knowledge.

One of these methodologies, Chemie im Kontext (Chemistry in Context in German, ChiK in the following) was developed in Germany to improve chemistry teaching in secondary education. Among its main features there are the use of contexts throughout the whole teaching unit and the fostering of the student self-learning.

During the last 3 school years, we conducted a research project in Madrid (Spain), using a participatory action research approach and phases of empirical assessment. 

Our goals were:
1- adapting the concept of ChiK to the Spanish educational system, 
2- developing material that can be used by teachers in this region for teaching chemistry in a context based way, and 
3- evaluating the effects of such a teaching approach on teachers and students.

490 students (256 girls and 234 boys) and 9 teachers from 4 schools participated in our study. Pre-test and post-test questionnaires and personal interviews with all the teachers and 60 students were used to assess the effects of the ChiK methodology when comparing it with traditional chemistry teaching.

Regarding the students, the results obtained show significant differences in their motivation, self-learning and the connection of what they have learnt with their daily lives after using the ChiK teaching units. The teachers’ opinion about this methodology is also positive in terms of its characteristics and the changes it produces in both teachers and students, although they think that its use during a whole course is difficult, mainly because of time issues.

In our presentation, we will explain the main features of the ChiK methodology, we will analyze the results obtained in our study, and we will give some advice for its future implementation. 

Keywords: Chemical education, context, secondary education.


Last updated on 2018-08-11 at 13:21