A Study of Some Psychological Factors Affecting Performance in Chemistry at Secondary and Tertiary Levels

Al-Naeme, Fakhir Fadhil Abbas (1988) A Study of Some Psychological Factors Affecting Performance in Chemistry at Secondary and Tertiary Levels. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis describes a predictive model for science education based upon information processing theory. It is based upon research conducted by the Science Education Group at Glasgow University. The model predicts to some extent the achievement of learners in conventional science examinations. The present study examines factors which might influence the understanding and performance of learners in chemistry education. The empirical work of the study was done with 177 Glasgow University students in the session 1986-1987, 283 school pupils at "O" Grade (age 16), and 284 Glasgow University students in the session 1987-1988. An examination was made of the idea of a limited space in the learner's brain called the holding/thinking space. This area can easily be overloaded by increasing the burden of information on it. Therefore, the learner's performance may decline rapidly as soon as the input information becomes bigger than the size of the learner's space. Furthermore, other factors have been considered in this thesis such as field dependent/independent cognitive style and 'intelligence' (V.R.Q. ) to find their relationship with the model of the information processing hypothesis in science education. Apparent in the results which emerged from this empirical work was that field-dependent learners tend to have a small holding/thinking space which is insufficient to hold both relevant and irrelevant information. The study recommends that teachers should re-organise their materials in a way which would facilitate the separation of relevant from irrelevant material. The research on 'intelligence' requires further work as the intelligence scores of the selected sample were measured at an age before the holding/thinking space was fully developed. It may be that intelligence test tasks may not exceed the working memory capacity of any learner so our understanding of the information processing model assumes that the intelligence test measures some other factor.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Science education, Educational psychology
Date of Award: 1988
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1988-77732
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 11:53
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2020 11:53
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/77732

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