About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7098-7109
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

AN EXPLORATION OF THE USE OF SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION IN SUPPORTING DEEP UNDERSTANDING AND HIGHER-ORDER THINKING IN CHEMISTRY

V. Paideya

University of KwaZulu Natal (Howard college) (SOUTH AFRICA)
Many under-prepared university students do not know how to study (Martin and Arendale, 1993) because they have not yet developed the abstract reasoning skills allowing them to learn new ideas simply by reading a text or listening to a lecture. This paper proposes to understand first year engineering students experiences of the Supplemental Instruction (SI) session in developing deep understanding and Higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) as the primary focus of SI sessions in aiding student assimilation and understanding of course content by thinking, reasoning, analyzing and problem-solving (Phelps, Julie M, Evans and Ruby; 2006). This paper therefore reflects the findings of a PhD study currently being undertaken at the university of KwaZulu Natal to explore the use of SI in supporting deep understanding and HOTS in stoichiometry in first year chemistry.

In this paper it is argued that SI assists students engage in thinking behaviour which facilitates connections between notes, textbooks and problem-solving (Martin and Arendale, 1993). This is done in different ways which include students in SI sessions working collaboratively to understand the course concepts, brainstorming ideas, and engaging in discussions of how the concepts relate to each other. These activities facilitate their greater conceptual understanding, and their success on problem-solving tasks and examinations increases substantially (McGuire, 2006).

The special focus of this paper is on improving teaching and learning in chemistry education, through SI and SI leader intervention. The use of interactive approaches to teaching and learning was examined within chemistry SI sessions, focusing on developing deep understanding and HOTS in chemistry for first year engineers. The central question guiding this paper was how does an interactive teaching and learning intervention programme designed by SI leaders engage first year engineering students in deep understanding and HOTS in Chemistry 161 and 181 modules at UKZN? A design research methodology was used to understand the engineering students’ experiences of the Supplemental Instruction environment. Design-based research blends empirical educational research with theories of learning and the design of learning environments and, as such, is ‘an important methodology for understanding how, when and why educational innovations work in practice’ (The Design-Based Research Collective, 2003:5).

Since this paper focuses on change or growth in natural settings, within stoichiometry in chemistry classrooms, it allows multiple sources and multiple research methods, such as video-recordings, observations, focus group interviews, reflective journals, concept maps and student assessment reports have been used in this study. Data analysis revealed that students preferred the more interactive engagement of SI sessions and discussion around chemistry concepts. Students found that having to explain concepts in their own words and being exposed to other students’ methods of answering questions greatly improved their understanding of stoichiometry. It was also found that SI leaders encouraged HOTS by asking higher-order questions, engaging in activities that require higher-order thinking as well as encouraging students to reflect on their thinking. It is therefore argued that teaching and learning strategies employed during the SI intervention session have the potential to promote deep understanding and higher-order thinking.
@InProceedings{PAIDEYA2009ANE,
author = {Paideya, V.},
title = {AN EXPLORATION OF THE USE OF SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION IN SUPPORTING DEEP UNDERSTANDING AND HIGHER-ORDER THINKING IN CHEMISTRY},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {7098-7109}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Paideya
TI - AN EXPLORATION OF THE USE OF SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION IN SUPPORTING DEEP UNDERSTANDING AND HIGHER-ORDER THINKING IN CHEMISTRY
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 7098
EP - 7109
ER -
V. Paideya (2009) AN EXPLORATION OF THE USE OF SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION IN SUPPORTING DEEP UNDERSTANDING AND HIGHER-ORDER THINKING IN CHEMISTRY, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 7098-7109.
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