Relational analysis of college chemistry-major students' conceptions of and approaches to learning chemistry

Wei Ting Li, Jyh Chong Liang, Chin Chung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this research was to examine the relationships between conceptions of learning and approaches to learning in chemistry. Two questionnaires, conceptions of learning chemistry (COLC) and approaches to learning chemistry (ALC), were developed to identify 369 college chemistry-major students' (220 males and 149 females) conceptions of and approaches to learning chemistry. First, it was found that students in higher grade levels (juniors and seniors) tended to express more agreement with higher-level COLC, such as learning chemistry by transforming, than those in lower grades (freshmen and sophomores). The regression analyses, in general, revealed that the students who expressed lower-level COLC, such as learning chemistry by memorizing and preparing for tests, tended to use surface approaches to learning chemistry, whereas those students possessing higher-level COLC, that is, learning chemistry by transforming, tended to use deep approaches to learning chemistry. However, inconsistent with theoretical perspectives, this study revealed that learning chemistry by memorizing could positively predict a deep motive for learning chemistry, while learning chemistry by transforming was associated with a surface motive for learning chemistry. The special features of learning chemistry which might account for these relationships are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-565
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry Education Research and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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