The use of classroom demonstrations to improve high school students\u27 ability to understand concepts in chemistry


This study was completed to determine if implementing demonstrations in specific chapters of a high school chemistry classroom would enhance students understanding of the topics the demonstrations represented. The study consisted of five sections of college preparatory high school chemistry. The sections were made up of both male and female students. The sections were randomly broken up into two groups. Each group acted as the experimental and control at different points in the study. Four chapters were used in the study. Each group represented the control group in two chapters and the experimental group in two chapters, flip flopping with each chapter tested. Both groups were given a pre-test at the start of the chapter to assess prior knowledge. The experimental group was provided with classroom demonstrations throughout the chapter along with a standard lecture on the topics tested in the pre-test. The control group was given a standard lecture but was not shown any demonstrations throughout the chapter. Both groups were given a post-test to evaluate understanding gained at the end of the chapter. No significant differences were observed between the control and experimental groups when comparing raw test scores. However, a consistent trend was observed suggesting that the demonstrations presented to the experimental group did have a positive effect on student understanding with those students obtaining higher learning gains than those without the demonstrations. In comparison of normalized learning gains between the control and experimental groups, a trend of increased normalized learning gain for the experimental groups was observed including statistical significance in two of the chapters tested. The data collected was also broken down by gender with-in each chapter. No statistical significance was found in the raw scores or normalized learning gain based on gender

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Louisiana State University

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This paper was published in Louisiana State University.

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