John is currently an instructor for CHM 111.
The Chemistry Teaching Laboratory: The Student Perspective
I am investigating the student/learnerís experiences in the chemistry teaching laboratory and the meaning that she or he derives from these experiences. This study seeks to answer these questions: (1) What was the student's experience in the teaching laboratory?, (2) What aspects of the laboratory experience did the student value?, and (3) What beliefs did the student hold concerning the role of the laboratory experience in developing her or his understanding of chemistry? Students involved in an introductory chemistry course here at Purdue University were asked to complete a two-part questionnaire consisting of 16 scaled response and 5 free response items. Fifteen students also participated in a semi-structured individual interview. The questionnaire and interview were designed to probe the studentsí perceived experience and answer the above questions. My initial report finds that students possess a strong conception of the lab experience which colors their experience from the onset. I also find that the learner deeply holds an implicit value in the laboratory experience. Finally, I am finding that the faculty plays a crucial role in this experience. This study adds the studentsí voice to the argument over the learning value of the science teaching laboratory.
Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry