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Abstract

Previous research has found a wide range of predictors of student performance in introductory college chemistry. These predictors are associated with both the students' backgrounds and their high school learning experiences. The purpose of this research study was to examine the link between high school chemistry pedagogical experiences and performance in introductory college chemistry while accounting for individual educational and demographic differences. The researchers surveyed 1531 students enrolled in first-semester introductory college chemistry courses for science and engineering majors at 12 different U.S. colleges and universities. Using multiple regression analysis, the researchers uncovered several interesting high school pedagogical experiences that appeared to be linked with varying levels of performance in college chemistry. Most notably, the researchers found that repeating chemistry labs for understanding was associated with higher student grades, whereas overemphasis on lab procedure in high school chemistry was associated with lower grades in college. These results suggest that high school teachers' pedagogical choices may have a link to future student performance. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 42: 987–1012, 2005