This work has been taken in part from the thesis of Bonita Alick which was submitted to Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.A. degree in May, 1986.
Cognitive development and problem solving of Afro-American students in chemistry
Article first published online: 18 AUG 2006
Copyright © 1990 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
Journal of Research in Science Teaching
Volume 27, Issue 2, pages 157–172, February 1990
How to Cite
Atwater, M. M. and Alick, B. (1990), Cognitive development and problem solving of Afro-American students in chemistry. J. Res. Sci. Teach., 27: 157–172. doi: 10.1002/tea.3660270207
- Issue published online: 18 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 18 AUG 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JAN 1989
The aims of this study were to investigate the level of cognitive development of Afro-American students enrolled in general chemistry courses at the college level and to determine the strategies used by both successful and unsuccessful Afro-American students in solving specific types of stoichiometric problems. It was found that the choice of a strategy is not significantly related to cognitive development of the student in specific types of stoichiometric problems. However, the following trend was noted: Students who are formal-operational in thought are more likely to be successful when solving mole-volume problems and complex mole-mole problems than are their concrete-operational counterparts. Additionally, a systematic strategy proved to be successful for the students, regardless of the cognitive development, when balancing simple and complex chemical equations. Also, algorithmic/reasoning strategies were needed to solve the mole-volume problem. A higher level of cognitive development and reasoning may be crucial factors in solving the more sophisticated types of problems in stoichiometry.