Validation of a learning hierarchy for the mole concept



Three psychometric methods for validating learning hierarchies are applied to one data set derived from responses of grade 10 chemistry students to items representing the skills in a hypothesized hierarchy for the mole concept. Two methods which considered skills in pairs, namely the “test of inclusion” by White and Clark and the “ordering-theoretic method” by Airaisian and Bart produced generally similar results. The third method, by Dayton and Mac-ready, considered the hierarchy as a whole and produced clearer distinctions between alternative hierarchies than the first two methods. The hierarchy derived from this analysis was supported by a test for transfer of learning from subordinate to superordinate skills.