• Factors Affecting the Ability to Depict Mental Models of Chemical Solutions Among Chemistry Students

    Mary Joy M. Villamora

    Philippine Science High School – Central Visayas Campus, Talaytay, Argao, Cebu 6021 Philippines.

    Abstract: This was a descriptive study to determine the factors affecting the ability to depict mental models of chemical solutions among General Chemistry II students of Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus during SY 2013-2014. Thirty students were randomly selected as respondents. Their profiles which consisted of their sexes and grades in General Chemistry I were obtained. The students’ attitude towards Chemistry, as well as their ratings in the prior conception test and in their depiction of mental models of chemical solutions were determined. The probing of the mental models was done using an interview protocol that included the use of a variety of common chemical solutions and focus cards that depicted model use (Unal, Calik, Ayas, & Coll, 2006; Jansoon, et al., 2009). Findings revealed that 1) the more able respondents were able to present consistent representations of chemical solutions at each level of representations: the macroscopic, submicroscopic and symbolic levels. In contrast, the less able respondents were able to depict in an unrelated manner the concepts at the three levels. It was also shown that 2) the following variables were significantly correlated with the respondents’ ability to depict mental models of chemical solutions: General Chemistry 1 grade, r(28)= 0.370, p = 0.044; attitude towards Chemistry, r(28)= 0.380, p = 0.038; and prior conceptions rating, r(28)= 0.384, p = 0.036; and, 3) there is no significant difference between males (M= 75.5553, SD= 7.85312) and females (M= 73.3333, SD= 7.84207)  in terms of their ability to depict mental models of chemical solutions, t(28)= 0.775, p = 0.445. Therefore, one’s ability to depict mental models of scientific concepts can be enhanced by certain factors. In this study, the attitudes of students towards Chemistry, their prior conceptions of the subject matter and performance in prerequisite subjects are key determinants in their performance to depict mental models of chemical solutions.

    Keywords: chemistry education, chemical solutions, mental models.

    Pages: 97 – 114 | Full PDF Paper