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LEARNING CHEMISTRY is not easy…

posted Oct 14, 2014, 12:09 AM by Web Administrator
By: Janice T. Forbes 
Head Teacher-Science 
City of Balanga National High School 

                 This is the perception of many students because they find trouble in learning this subject. According to the research, the lack of appreciation might be due to the nature of Chemistry itself. Most of the concepts are abstract and difficult to understand because even the chemical processes are not observable.Furthermore, computation is somehow part of the lessons, and still the students could not really understand why computation is a part of learning.

From all grade levels, skills in proper measurements and correct calculations are taught and developed expectedly. However, Secondary Science teachers find difficulty in letting students appreciate and engage in quantitative measurement, the poor mathematical skill of students, despite many available strategies and techniques offered by our educators, is often the common problem. According to the Third International Mathematics and Science Survey, Filipino students are poor achievers in science and mathematics. Also, local standardized tests such as the NAT indicate that our students consistently score below 50%, on average. This is due to neither mathematical problems included that students cannot even at least read nor answer.

Scientific Method provides a framework for research not only in Chemistry but in all other Sciences as well. Our students need to familiarize themselves with the systems of measurement in the laboratory, spending some time learning how to handle numerical results of chemical measurements and solve numerical problems (Raymond Chang, 2007).In Science content matrix, theconduct of experiment is included and the conclusion part of it should be described qualitatively or quantitatively. Quantitative description means involvement of measurements so they need explanations by using formulas or mathematical operations.

Determination of concentration of chemicals, for instance, can identify using equations so solving is really necessary. Correct amount of concentration must be measured carefullybefore the preparation of solution to arrive at more accurate results. This is what needed in any scientific investigation.

To lessen the burden of students, innovative strategy can be utilized by the teacher to make the computation easy. Analyzing the problem is the difficult part of it. Most of the time, students translate the problem word by word using their own dialect in order for them to understand the problem and then,  procedural approach is applied.

To introduce, teachers in Chemistry can use Schematic illustration as innovative technique in solving any problem. Sketching or drawing is the best description of this technique. Allowing the students to use lines, circles, rectangles to draw what they could imagine in the situation will help develop their cognitive skills. Write the given values near the drawing to label the content. In this way, student can have a clear illustration of the problem. The effectiveness of this strategy has been proven in my study.            

There is no problem that cannot be solved as long as there is an equation to use and as long as there are techniques to introduce. Creativity makes the learning so meaningful so innovate more!

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