A Cross-Age Study on The Understanding of Chemical Solution and their Components

ÇALIK M., Ayas A.

International Education Journal, vol.6, no.1, pp.30-41, 2005 (Scopus)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Journal Name: International Education Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.30-41
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The aims of this study were considered under three headings. The first was to elicit
misconceptions that students had about the terms ’solute’, ‘solvent’ and ‘solution.’
The second was to understand how students’ prior learning affected their
misconceptions. The third was to determine if students were able to make a connection
between their own knowledge and chemistry in everyday life. To achieve these aims, a
paper and-pencil test composed of 18 open-ended questions was designed, but only
four questions related to chemical solutions and their components. The test was
administered to 441 students from different grades that ranged from Grade 7 with
students aged 13-14 years to Grade 10 with students aged 16-17 years. As a result of
the analyses undertaken, it was found that students’ misunderstanding about the
concepts of dissolution and conservation of mass influenced their knowledge about the
these terms. Moreover, it was found that students had difficulties making connections
between their knowledge and life experiences. Furthermore, it was elicited that the
examples given by most of students under investigation were limited to particular
solid-liquid and liquid-liquid solutions; however, some students in the upper grades
referred to solid-solid and gas-gas solutions such as air, nitrogen and oxygen (N2-O2),
and alloy composition. Therefore, it was concluded that although students’
conceptions and misconceptions were acquired and stored, they occurred without
ostensible links between everyday life and school experiences. Furthermore,
depending on the instruction students received and over time, it was deduced that their
conceptual understanding showed a steady increase from Grade 7 to Grade 10, except
in the case of Item 1. In light of results of this study, some suggestions for future
instruction were made.